By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) yesterday batted for a time bound price support for a to small poultry growers, which are now reeling from falling prices of chicken due to oversupply in the local market.
DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said after meeting the National Price Coordinating Council (NPCC) that price support is something the agency can support as a policy to help farmers get intervention in terms of good price for their produce. But Lopez said a price support program should be time bound.
He likened the Department of Agriculture’s price support for rice, which was only P17 a kilo for palay but was granted an additional P3 incentive.
Prices of chicken have gone down to P90 to P100 although prices are still higher in the wet markets at P110 to P120 a kilo.
In addition, Lopez said they are working on linking the small poultry growers with supermarkets to ensure their produce can be sold even if only at a loss rather than throwing them away as waste.
Oversupply of chicken hits the Philippines as the local market is flooded with unabated importation of chicken to the detriment of the domestic poultry producers.
As of November 2017, importation of chicken leg quarter already reached 61,434,860 kilograms as against the whole of 2017 with only 44,834,405 kgs.
Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol has called on the stakeholders to agree among themselves to increase the farmgate price of chicken by at least P10 every week until such time they are no longer incurring losses.
Farmgate prices of chicken had fallen to about P38 per kilo in some areas in the country, keeping farmers from earning higher incomes, which could push them to quit raising chickens.
Another measure the DA is looking at to help local poultry raisers from continued loss is to control imports and to export chicken and eggs.