Imee Marcos: Stop meat importation ‘madness’, help local livestock raisers | Inquirer News
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Imee Marcos: Stop meat importation ‘madness’, help local livestock raisers

/ 05:16 PM September 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Imee Marcos on Monday urged the government to help local livestock raisers become more price-competitive to survive the surge of imported meat products that constitute more than half of the poultry and pork products in the market.

“Stop the importation madness. Filipinos first!” Marcos, chair of the Senate committee on economic affairs, said in a statement.

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Citing the August inventory of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), Marcos noted that imports make up 81% of the 43,124 kilos of frozen pork surveyed in the market.

The NMIS inventory also showed that imported dressed chicken made up 58% of the total 60,810 kilos surveyed.

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Marcos said the high volume of imported poultry products and their lower market prices were making the situation worse for local raisers who are already hurting from the sudden slash in market demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past week, wet market prices for imported pork cost P120 to P175 per kilo, way cheaper compared to local pork being sold at P230 to P260.

Meanwhile, imported chicken ranged from P100 to P110 per kilo in the same period, also cheaper than the P125 to P130 price range for local chicken.

One solution to make local poultry products more competitive is for the Department of Agriculture (DA) to provide poultry raisers with the technology for processing mechanically deboned chicken meat – an imported product hardly produced locally due to the lack of facilities, Marcos said.

The senator also urged the government to explore a market expansion of poultry exports to Japan, South Korea, and other countries where local production costs are high.

The importation of pork products should also be closely watched to prevent the entry of communicable animal diseases like Asian swine fever that could easily spread and damage the local pork industry, Marcos said.

“The recent scare over contaminated pork from Germany and Brazil calls for stricter requirements in issuing sanitary and phytosanitary clearances,” she said.

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The government can also make local livestock raisers more competitive by offering incentives to big food companies that will support fragmented farms and assist in the production chain, from livestock raising all the way to distribution and sales, Marcos added.[ac]

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TAGS: Department of Agriculture, economic affairs, Food security, Imee Marcos, Livestock, Philippines, poultry, Senate
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