- Category: Agri-Commodities
- Published on Monday, 04 March 2013 19:31
- Written by InterAksyon.com
THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said the government is in talks with neighboring countries for the export of livestock and poultry products ahead of Asean integration in 2015.
Asean stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Rubina Cresencio said the government is in discussions with Papau New Guinea, South Korea, Hong Kong and Indonesia for possible exports to these countries.
She added that the government is also eyeing more shipments to Japan, which already buys yakitori nuggets from the Philippines.
“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 requirements and protocol, and later on proceed to a business-to-business transaction,” Cresencio said.
The BAI official also said the Philippines may face tough competition from Thailand and Vietnam, but expects Manila’s certification as avian influenza- and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)-free to be an edge over the two other countries.
“We are free from diseases, such as avian influenza and FMD, so we have greater chances to access our target markets now,” she said, adding that the Philippines was among the few countries that the World Organization for Animal Health certified as bird flu- and FMD-free.
Thailand suffered from a severe outbreak of bird flu last year.
“Based on our assessment, when [the] Afta [Asean Free-Trade Agreement] takes effect, we need to compete with Thailand. They are big poultry producers and also AI free. Meanwhile, for pork, Vietnam is very aggressive,” Cresencio said.
The poultry subsector accounted for 14.3 percent of the Philippines’s farm output in 2012, growing 4.5 percent to P167.1 billion.
Livestock production comprised 16 percent of farm output, rising 1.1 percent to P214.3 billion.
The DA is building two export-oriented slaughterhouses in Luzon, adding to the 18 built the previous year.