Local raisers told to limit production for PH to accommodate more imported chicken
Local raisers have been suggested by the Philippine government to limit their production in order for the Philippines to accommodate more imported supply of local products.
The suggestion came as the United Broilers and Raisers’ Association (UBRA) sought the Department of Agriculture (DA) to temporarily suspend the importation of chicken to address the oversupply in local production, which has been pulling down prices since the lockdown.
“It is strange that BAI [Bureau of Animal Industry] is asking Filipino poultry producers to limit their production in order to ‘give way’ to foreign producers,” Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc (PCAFI) said. BAI is an attached agency to DA.
In an open letter to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, the United Broilers and Raisers’ Association (UBRA), supported by PCAFI, has dismissed the claim of BAI that poultry imports are too “minimal” to hurt Filipino producers.
“Imports are not a ‘mere threat.’ But it has caused actual damage in the last 25 years. The volume of imports need not be overwhelming to cause damage. It only takes a relatively minimal volume to move farmgate prices from profit to loss as agricultural products are commodities,” said UBRA.
UBRA has raised serious concern on the utterly depressed price of chicken during the COVID 19 lockdown that dragged prices down even below P70 per kilo.
PCAFI, for its part, lamented that DA hardly listened to the voice of Filipino poultry raisers.
“PCAFI fully supports the complaint sent to Secretary Dar which is apparently not taken with serious attention and without considering the plight of the poultry industry. Food production is the main focus of the economic managers to recover from COVID-19. But the people of DA are recommending the opposite in favor of foreign producers,” said PCAFI President Danilo Fausto.
“Prices of imports are low because these come from countries with subsidized agricultural systems,” he added.