August 30, 2021
Philippines Agriculture Secretary highlights importance of poultry industry
Philippines Agriculture Secretary William Dar emphasised the role of the poultry sector in the country's agricultural development, describing it as a bright spot for the industry's growth this year.
"The Philippine poultry sector performs a crucial function in our pursuit of agricultural development – where farmers and fishers can have the dignity of being self-sufficient even as all Filipinos are allowed access to adequate food," Dar said at the Philippine Poultry and Livestock Virtual Summit.
"The poultry subsector remains a major bright spot for spurring agricultural growth this year, towards a target of 2%."
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that poultry production grew by 2.5% in the second quarter of the year. The production growth was led by duck with 38.4%. The production of chicken and duck eggs also increased by 13.1% and 1.8%, respectively.
In contrast, chicken production dropped 1.6%. Poultry production accounted for 13.5% of the total agricultural production during the period. Dar said the Department of Agriculture continues to implement various initiatives to support the country's poultry sector. These include the expanded poultry production and a livelihood programme that is part of the National Livestock Program announced last year.
"With this initiative, we aim to help farm families recover from the loss of jobs and unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those whose poultry stocks were depleted by avian influenza,"Dar said.
Under the programme, qualified beneficiaries will have to organise into clusters and receive initial stocks of poultry animals to raise and propagate as a source of food and sustainable income.
Dar also reported that the DA's plans and investments in the subsector, including the establishment of post-harvest and processing facilities.
"We are currently establishing a ₱50 million (US$1 million) cold storage and meat-cutting facility in San Jose, Batangas and a ₱90 million (US$1.8 million) meat cutting plant and cold storage warehouse in Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU)," Dar said.
He said the Triple A dressing plant in Bamban, Tarlac, would also address the supply chain in Metro Manila and in other parts of Luzon.
Dar also recognised the integral role of partners in the private sector for the vibrancy of all agricultural subsectors.
"The private sector has been most helpful in the rescue of the entire livestock sector, which suffered negative growth due to ASF (African swine fever). We need to involve more of our country's best entrepreneurs in the effort because they have a great deal to offer in terms of resources and expertise," Dar said.
Moreover, Dar also urged the leaders in the poultry industry to support the expansion and modernisation of the relevant facilities to make the sector more competitive.
"Right now, we have the chance to build on the progress that we have made in the nation's poultry sector. We have a chance to strengthen our nation's food security, grow the economy even faster, create jobs and lift people's incomes and prospects. We just have to make some sensible investment choices," Dar said.
For this year, the DA expects agriculture production to grow by 2%. This is lower than its initial target of 2.5%.
The agriculture sector declined by 1.5% in the second quarter.
- Philstar Global