October 23, 2008


Philippines to implement new corn price hike

The Philippine government is planning to increase the price of yellow corn again to boost production and complement the swine and poultry industries, said Salvador Salacup, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.


The department has recently approved a higher buying price for yellow corn at PHP 11.5 per kg, but it is now planning a further increase of PHP 1.5 to make it on par with the price of white corn at PHP 13 per kg, said Salacup.


The price increase is a response to calls from farmers for better support price, and agriculture officials are expected to support the move at the next meeting of the National Food Authority Council.


Farmers require incentives to increase their production of yellow corn, the main ingredient for animal feeds manufacturing. Yellow corn accounts for 1/3 of the total production cost therefore a regular supply is a major determinant of the productivity and competitiveness of the domestic swine and poultry industries, which are dependent on imported corn and feed wheat, soymeal, fishmeal and breeding stocks.


NAST president Emil Javier said the government and its agriculture research arm are also trying to develop a hybrid of yellow corn with high quality protein content in order to produce a competitive supply of swine and poultry products.


This includes corns with genes for high lysine and tryptophan, so that the protein quality can be improved without penalties on yield, according to Javier.


The livestock sector is expecting an increase in corn demand as it is recovering from a production slowdown in the first half of 2008 due to outbreaks of animal diseases last year.


Salacup said domestic corn production is on the rise, with year-end harvest expected to increase 6 percent on-year to 7.2 million tonnes, despite typhoon Frank and the negative impact of the fertiliser crisis.

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