PH inventory for chicken and pork enough to supply ECQ period – DA

Published April 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Madelaine B. Miraflor

Just like rice, the supply of chicken and pork is not running out and that the Philippines will have enough meat to consume during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a top official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

Agriculture Secretary Dr. William D. Dar .  (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU, MB Photo)
Agriculture Secretary Dr. William D. Dar . (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU, MB Photo)

Citing a data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), in support of consultations with industry stakeholders, the DA is expecting the country to have an inventory worth 62 days for chicken by the end of June, while it is 10 days for pork.

“Contrary to recent projections painting a deficit scenario of the country’s meat sector, we are pleased to report that on the contrary we have a favorable outlook despite difficulties encountered last year, especially for pork, due to the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said.

The country’s chicken supply alone is seen to surpass the annual requirement of 1.3 million metric tons (MT) by 24 percent, equivalent to more than 400,000 MT, by the end of this year. This will give the Philippines an inventory good for 157 days by January 2021.

On pork, local producers are saying that there is actually an oversupply, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao, adding that cold storage facilities are brimming with pork and there may even be no need to import this year.

This, however, contradicts the ‘Asian Outlook 2020’ and the DA’s National Meat Inspection Service’s (NMIS) forecast, which stated that there would be a deficit of around 121,000 MT in pork sector by the end of the year due to a 21 percent contraction.

The DA forecasts, based on field reports and consultations with hog and poultry industry stakeholders, that throughout the year, 11 regions will enjoy chicken surplus, while seven regions will produce more pork than their respective requirements.

“We acknowledge the projected deficit in pork that is why we are rolling out interventions to increase swine production this early. We are requesting funds under the Plant, Plant, Plant Program to increase hog production and support our swine raisers,” Dar said.

Under the Plant, Plant, Plant Program or Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra Covid-19, the DA will pursue two projects to boost livestock and poultry production. As of today, both projects have not yet been given budget allocation.

Meanwhile, the DA will also intensify hog raising in ASF-free areas, following its zoning plan, and implement an urban agriculture project that includes native chicken production.

“As we have more chicken than pork, we encourage consumers to shift to the former, and consider other poultry meat, eggs and processed products,” Dar said.