Singapore looks for PH farm products it can import

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

Philippines has moved closer towards its plan to export several agriculture products to Singapore after the city-state sent a team of quarantine officers here to inspect the commodities it may import from here.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that Singapore is now seriously considering Philippines as its potential new source of vegetables, fruits, hog, poultry, eggs, and seafood. This, as Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) flew to the country and began its 10-day on-site inspection in various farms in Batangas, Cavite, General Santos, and Davao.

"The inspection of the Philippine farms is the first step in the planned importation by Singapore of several agricultural commodities from the Philippines," Piñol said.

Last year, following reports that Malaysia was scaling down its exports of poultry and eggs to Singapore, the Department of Agriculture (DA) immediately reached out to the first world city-state to make a formal offer to supply them with such commodities.

Piñol said that among the facilities to be inspected by AVA's team are Gemsun Marketing's egg layer farm in Batangas; Novoagri, Inc.'s egg processing in Batangas; Pilmico's Layer Farm in Tarlac; Robina Farm No. 23 in Naic, Cavite; Ana's Breeder Farms in Davao City; Matutum Meat Packing Corp. in Gen. Santos City; among others.

Singapore will also look at the Philippine government's quarantine and sanitary facilities.

Next month, the DA will hold a Philippine Agri-Aqua Food Show in Singapore to showcase the best products that the country could offer to the huge market dependent on imported products.

Then in May, a Singapore delegation is expected to visit the country to formalize the start of the export of the commodities by the Philippines.

It was in December last year when Piñol first announced that the Philippine government will attempt to penetrate Singapore, a first world sovereign city-state within Southeast Asia, as a new export market for the country's agriculture products.