The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allotted P280 million for the establishment of cold storage in three provinces to support the country’s hog and poultry sub-sectors affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) and COVID-19 pandemic.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the country’s livestock and poultry sub-sectors are among the drivers of rural economies contributing to livelihood and generating income for poor farm households.
“Efficient management and delivery of food crops, fruits and vegetables, fishery, livestock and poultry products are imperative and critical, in response to the country’s food security requirements. Hence, now more than ever, we should put premium on the establishment of modern storage, processing, and logistics facilities to attain a globally-competitive food value chain system,” Dar said in a statement on Saturday.
The facilities will be put up in Magalang, Pampanga; Tanauan and San Jose, Batangas; and in Malagos, Davao del Sur.
The DA said these facilities will be complemented with meat-cutting facilities to allow further value-adding that will enhance farmers’ incomes as these can produce “choice meat cuts” to supply the growing market.
Through the DA-National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), it will partner with hog farmers and poultry raisers, industry stakeholders, respective local government units, and the academe in Pampanga, Batangas, and Davao to put up, operate and maintain the cold storage and meat-cutting facilities.
According to NMIS Director Reildrin Morales, the negotiations are ongoing with identified stakeholders.
“Funding for said facilities comes from appropriations under Republic Act No. 11494, also known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or ‘Bayanihan 2,’ where the DA was granted a supplemental P24-billion budget to help address the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in the agri-fishery sector,” the department said.
“We believe the initiatives of the Duterte administration will help reinvigorate the Philippine countryside after surmounting the COVID-19 pandemic, by increasing food production and establishment of postharvest, storage and logistics systems,” the DA chief added.