State-owned Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) is eyeing to buy chicken from local farmers to help the government in addressing an oversupply of the commodity, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Tuesday.
"'Yung FTI approached me and they actually want start exercising their mandate of buying produce from farmers," Piñol said in a press conference in Pasay City.
"FTI is willing to buy chicken from farmers at a better farm gate price and then store this at storage facilities of NTA (National Tobacco Administration)," he said.
There is reportedly an oversupply of poultry products in the market.
"Medyo dumami ‘yung produksyon ng poultry and nagkasabay doon sa pagpasok ng imported na manok, so nagkaproblema,” Piñol earlier said.
The farm gate price of chicken supposedly dropped to P38.00 per kilo. Farm gate price is the value of an agricultural product minus market-related costs, such as transportation.
A low farm gate price means modest profit for farmers that may sometimes lead to financial loss and prompt them to close their farms.
"Naghahanap lang sila, ang FTI, ng storage facilities para 'yung mga manok na bibilin nila may paglalagyan sila. We are planning to tap the NTA storage facility in Ilocos kasi meron palang storage facility ang NTA sa Ilocos as part of their livelihood program for tobacco farmers nag-set sila ng chicken dressing plant and cold storage," Piñol said.
The FTI was created through Marcos-era Presidential Decree No. 347 in 1968.
The FTI was actively involved in the retailing of basic commodities at government subsidized prices.
Food trading, food processing, including slaughtering operations were suspended in 1989 because of conflict with free trade market forces.
After operating continuously for 30 years, cold storage also ceased operations in 2004 due to technical problems and viability concerns.
The company is now mainly functioning as provider of leasable facilities and buildings that cater for the needs of food producers, manufacturers, exporters and other sectors in the food industry.
FTI owned a site in Taguig City, which was sold to Ayala Land Inc (ALI) in 2012 for P24.3 billion. The area will be developed into a mixed-used estate named Arca South. —LDF, GMA News