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 DA Undertaking 2-Pronged Initiative to Ensure Availability of Pork,Chicken(November 22,2009)

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nescab
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PostSubject: DA Undertaking 2-Pronged Initiative to Ensure Availability of Pork,Chicken(November 22,2009)   Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:08 am

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has been carrying out a two-pronged approach involving the procurement of pork and chicken from both domestic and overseas sources to ensure the stable supply of these commodities in Metro Manila this coming holiday season and the first quarter of 2010.

At the same time, Assistant Secretary Salvador Salacup said the DA is also mulling a plan to release suggested retail price ranges for pork and chicken, in which a price band would be observed for both commodities to prevent a spike in their retail prices, especially during the Christmas holidays.

In a report to Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap, Salacup said the DA has already implemented this scheme by suggesting a reference price for pork before the onset of the Christmas season last year—when retail prices shot up to as high as P180 to P190 per kilo of choice cuts— a move that was welcomed by both wholesalers and retailers of the commodity. Retail prices eventually stabilized at P145 to P170 per kilo.

He said the initiative of private sector’s active participation, as discussed with pork stakeholders in a meeting in Davao , involves transporting pork from Mindanao and importing some 15,000 to 20,000 metric tons of pork and 5,000 MT of chicken from overseas markets like the United States , Canada and South Korea .

“The arrival of the supply of pork from the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga in Mindanao , which consists of about 3,000 head, is expected in the last week of November and in December,” Salacup said in media interviews. “We also expect the arrival of 9,500 MT of pork from Canada , USA and South Korea .”

“We are continuously monitoring supply and prices in the market,” he said.

The latest monitoring report by DA field teams show that the price of pork kasim is between P150 to P180 a kilo and liempo at P160 to P190 a kilo, Salacup said.

As for chicken, Salacup said poultry producers said they will bring in 5,000 metric tons from the US and Canada to augment domestic supply.

In October last year, Secretary Arthur Yap and other agriculture officials along with over 30 livestock stakeholders agreed on a reference price band for pork after reaching consensus on the reasonable profit margins for growers, wholesalers and retailers.

The reference price was agreed upon after determining that it was beneficial for producers, traders, and consumers.

Earlier, Salacup said that considering hog producers have already warned of a possible supply shortfall even before the onset of the typhoons, the DA had already encouraged the private sector to import up to 15,000 MT of pork from foreign sources such as the United States , Canada and neighboring Asian countries.

Even before typhoon “Ondoy” battered Luzon , the government already projected a shortage of 30,000 MT to 40,000 MT, though on producers’ appeals, it agreed on a 20,000-ton projected supply gap, Salacup said.

Salacup said Yap had instructed agriculture officials to work first on sourcing pork from Mindanao and the Visayas, to ensure that the commodity will arrive in time for the Christmas season, and offset possible delays in imports from foreign markets.

He said then that the deadline for traders and importers to bring in as much as 2.5 million kilos of the commodity by December 15 takes into account possible red tape. The deadline was also set so as not to dampen farmgate prices, he added.

"We want our farmers to profit at this time to sustain their productivity momentum for the first quarter of 2010," he had said.

As for the supply of chicken, Salacup said earlier that key players in the domestic poultry industry are studying the possibility of importing an additional 3,000 MT from the original 5,000 MT that they have proposed under the Special Safeguard (SSG) Measure Free approach.

Under the SSG, importers pay additional customs duties once the landed cost falls below a trigger price, so as not to unduly depress domestic market prices of the commodity and hurt local hog and chicken growers . (DA Press Office)
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DA Undertaking 2-Pronged Initiative to Ensure Availability of Pork,Chicken(November 22,2009)
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