October 13, 2003

 

 

Philippines Decision to Import Corn Welcome by Hog Farmers

 

Philippines' Arroyo administration was hailed recently by the country's biggest hog farmers federation. This is due to its plan to immediately augment the feeds requirement of poultry and hog raisers, particularly through the "emergency" importation of yellow corn.

The move to import corn was taken following the spate of calamities that destroyed corn crops from Luzon thus creating a projected shortfall of about 300,000 metric tons of necessary feeds of poultry and hog raisers.

In a statement sent to media, the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. (NFHFI) praised government for "taking the timely and rational step in addressing the clear and present danger facing the country's food security situation."

NFHFI national chairman Nemesio G. Co said, "Had it not been through the decisive and in-sync efforts of the Department of Agriculture and the National Economic and Development Authority, we would be forced to slow down production. As a consequence, chicken and pork supply in the market for the remaining quarter of the year would be heavily affected in terms of prices and availability."

The Department of Agriculture, through the National Food Authority is posed to import 150,000 metric tons (MT) of corn with a 20% tariff. Mindanao corn farmers are expected to cover the remainder 150,000 MT shortfalls, due to its currently good yield performance.

NFHFI president Albert R. T. Lim Jr. said, "The import move comes as big relief for hog raisers, especially when corn prices have risen in the last couple of months because of price manipulators and hoarders who exploit the low corn supply. "

 

The NFHFI commented that, from a P2 price increase per bag of corn feeds, even backyard hog raisers with merely 10 sows suffer P16,600 additional losses per month.

"Definitely, the monthly losses is bigger for commercial raisers like us. And we view this move of government as a form of much-needed subsidy that we have long been pushing for, in view of the stiff challenges facing us, farm workers," Lim ended.

Earlier, the biggest corn association in the country, the Philippine Maize Confederation agreed on the planned corn importation after being assured by government that the 20% levy will go directly to support the local corn sector, and that local corn prices would remain stable.