DA Seeks More Poultry, Livestock Exports

PHILIPPINES - The Filipino Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing new overseas markets for livestock and poultry products to prepare the country’s farm sector ahead of the removal of trade barriers under the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA). Asean is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
calendar icon 4 March 2013
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Rubina Cresencio, DA-Bureau of Animal Industry director, said that the agency is beefing up ongoing discussions with Papau New Guinea, South Korea, Hong Kong and Indonesia for the exportation of livestock and poultry products.

According to The Manila Times.net, Ms Cresencio added that they are also banking on higher shipments to Japan, which is importing yakitori nuggets from the Philippines, to further expand market share and improve competitiveness in the farm sector ahead of the trade liberalization in 2015.

"We constantly keep in touch with these countries to find out their health protocol and requirements. We are going to conduct a government-to-government collaboration to find out their requirement and protocol and later on proceed to a business-to-business transaction," she said.

South Korea and Hong Kong wants poultry supply from the Philippines, while China and Indonesia are particularly interested in importing beef products and Papua New Guinea is negotiating for the shipment of meat and pork cuts, the BAI chief added.

Cresencio noted that the Philippines may face tough competition with Thailand and Vietnam, stressing that Manila can take advantage of its status as an avian influenza (AI)- and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)-free in order to establish better trade relations.

"We are free from diseases, such as avian influenza and FMD, so we have greater chances to access our target markets now," she said, noting that the Philippines was among the few countries certified last year by the World Organization for Animal Health as bird flu- and FMD-free.

"The certification system that we have is very credible," she added.

Thailand was hit by a severe outbreak of bird flu last year but has been free from avian flu since the beginning of 2013.

"Based on our assessment, when AFTA takes effect, we need to compete with Thailand, they are big poultry producers and also AI free. Meanwhile, for pork, Viet Nam is very aggressive," she said.

The poultry subsector, which comprised 14.3 per cent of the full year farm output in 2012, registered a 4.5 per cent growth, grossing at P167.1 billion. Chicken production grew by 4.6 per cent and egg by 4.4 per cent respectively.

Duck meat and egg production rose by 2 per cent and 5.5 per cent, respectively. Livestock production, on the other hand, which made up 16 percent of the 2012 farm output, grew by 1.1 per cent, grossing at P214.3 billion.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala earlier said that the government would develop the exportation capability of the livestock and poultry sectors, to make the sector competitive with neighboring Southeast Asian countries.

He said that opportunities are ripe for the exportation of dressed chicken and duck.

The government intends to complete this year the construction of two export-oriented slaughterhouses in Luzon.

Around 18 AA slaughterhouses, meanwhile, were constructed in various provinces last year.

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