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DA eases movement of poultry products, lifts import ban

June 28, 2022 Cory Martinez 224 views

TO address the continued increase in prices of poultry and poultry products in the markets, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has eased the restrictions on movements of poultry products locally and lifted the import bans for poultry products.

DA Secretary William Dar disclosed that aside from the two measures, the DA will also conduct regular validations and monitoring of supply scenarios and source alternative local feed ingredients.

“On one hand, we see increased demand for poultry products from pent-up demand resulting from the pandemic. On the other hand, we see a drop in output as poultry producers hold back on production due to several factors, including rising prices of inputs and poultry diseases,” Dar said.

The DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has issued special import permits for autogenous vaccines to support disease prevention of other poultry diseases such as the dreaded inclusion body hepatitis (IBH).

The viral disease is caused by fowl adenovirus, which is resistant to several disinfectants, heat, and pH changes.

He also said the DA is conducting dialogues with other countries about the possible sourcing of alternative feed ingredients to lower the production cost of the poultry sector.

The policy brief on regionalization with trading partners has also been reevaluated to allow the importation of poultry from non-infected areas outside the control areas.

Dar added that the memorandum on lifting the importation ban from Spain, Denmark, and the Czech Republic has already been “finalized” to allow the sourcing of raw materials for breeding.

The DA-BAI, meanwhile, is also looking at Belgium as an alternative source of raw materials, adding that the lifting of the ban on poultry imports is now being finalized.

In his report to Dar, BAI Director Reildrin Morales said that the local and national governments must ensure a smooth flow of farm products.

Morales claimed that the opening of the economy led to increased spending by families on meat and poultry products.

“However, restrictions on the movement of live birds, poultry products, and by-products due to avian influenza outbreak have caused an imbalance in the supply chain from region to region,” Morales explained.

He added that supply is “tight”, as producers are “holding back production” to minimize losses.

To recall, several hog raisers affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) went into poultry, particularly egg production, thereby increasing the competition of producers in the industry.

“Their entry created surplus production, and the high cost of inputs, notably feed ingredients, has added pressure to poultry producers,” Morales added.

Meanwhile, based on the report from the Surveillance, Monitoring, and Enforcement Group (SMEG) of the DA-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS), the prices of whole chicken have increased steadily since last year to as much 25%, currently selling at a minimum of P200 per kilogram.

However, the supply of table eggs (medium) from last year’s versus this year has increased – prices have decreased to P6 from P6.50 a piece.

“The poor quality of inputs coupled with animal diseases can also be blamed,” Morales said in his report, adding that the rising cost of feed ingredients has forced some producers to “re-formulate” and, in the process, affected the growth rate of the flocks.

To address this supply issue, Dar reminded distributors and traders that the movement of poultry products from mainland Luzon to any destination in the country – provided that these tested negative for Avian Influenza for at least seven days.

Dar said private sector partners are conducting regular validation of the boiler life cycle model to ensure the prevention of the spread of diseases.

Dar further explained that climate conditions and unstable temperature regulation also play a critical role during the period affecting the growth of poultry birds.

“Climate change plays a major role since most of the poultry housing in the poultry housing in the Philippines are still conventional (open-sided, drop-down). But even with tunnel-ventilated housing, the fluctuating weather conditions still present a big challenge in adjusting temperatures in the farm,” he said.

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