The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) National Tobacco Administration (NTA), which currently operates a state-owned meat processing facility in Ilocos Sur, will set aside P10 million to augment the facility’s operations.
This, according to DA, is hoped to help stabilize the supply and price of pork in Metro Manila.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said he recently met with the governing board of the NTA about boosting the capacity of the latter’s meat processing facility within the NTA Kadiwa, which is also known as AgriPinoy tobacco farmers food processing and trading center.
Within NTA Kadiwa is a meat processing facility that can slaughter up to 80 hogs, which is equivalent to 6,000 kilograms (kg) per day.
The facility has a double A or “AA” accreditation from the DA’s National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).
Meat and food processing facilities with “AA” accreditation mean that they have passed the DA-NMIS standards for good manufacturing practices (GMP) and standard sanitation operating procedures (SSOP).
Dar, who currently chairs the NTA board, said the NTA swiftly acted upon such request and allotted an additional P10 million for its operating capital.
The NTA will use this money to buy more hogs from areas free from African Swine Fever (ASF) within the provinces of Ilocos and Abra, said NTA administrator Robert Victor G. Seares Jr.
After these hogs are slaughtered and processed at the NTA facility, they will be delivered to Metro Manila at an average of 5,000 kg per day.
“We will strongly assist the DA to provide consumers in Metro Manila reasonably-priced pork meat and processed pork products,” Seares said.
NTA will initially slaughter 520 hogs, equivalent to 52,000 kilograms (kg), commencing on the second week of February, said Seares.
Located in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur, the NTA Kadiwa began operation in October 2013, to augment the income of tobacco farmers and their families. The NTA also implements a hog fattening program.
Aside from pork meat, the NTA Kadiwa produces bagnet, longganiza, bacon, ham, tapa and tocino. It also serves as a poultry dressing facility and a TESDA-accredited training school for slaughtering.
African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to pull down pork supply in the country, while pushing prices of the commodity at an unprecedented rate.
As of January 20, the prevailing price of pork kasim in select markets in Metro Manila stood at P350 per kg, while it is P400 per kg for pork liempo, based on the latest price monitoring report of DA.