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DA bares measures to address increasing poultry prices

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has unveiled interventions to address the increasing poultry prices brought about by higher demand for chicken while production is low.

Price monitoring by the DA as of July 8 showed the price per kilo of chicken stood at P200 from P190 per kilo as of early June.

In a statement, the Agriculture Department said that through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) it has put in place interventions following regular consultations with industry stakeholders.

Among the measures being undertaken is allowing inter-island movement from mainland Luzon of day-old chicks, hatching eggs, and ready-to-lay pullets, according to the DA.

For day-old chicks and hatching eggs, movement is allowed provided they tested negative for avian influenza (AI) 28 days from the date of sample collection, it said.

For ready-to-lay pullets, movement is allowed provided they tested negative for AI 14 days from the date of sample collection, it added.

Aside from this, the DA said the BAI determines the actual supply scenario by working closely with partners from the private sector in regularly validating the broiler life cycle model.

To address the high cost of agricultural inputs, BAI officer-in-charge-Director Reildrin Morales said DA executives will be conducting dialogues with other countries on possible alternative sources of cheaper feed ingredients.

On other disease concerns, the BAI has already issued special import permits for needed vaccines in order to support disease prevention on other poultry diseases such as Infectious Body Hepatitis (IBH), according to the DA.

To recall, the DA has already lifted the temporary ban for poultry products coming from Spain, Denmark, and Czech Republic.

Morales said the increase in demand was caused by the opening of markets, including hotels and restaurants, now that pandemic restrictions are more relaxed.

Moreover, with the economy slowly opening up and creating job opportunities, more consumers have purchasing power to buy meat for their families, he said.

“The uneven demand-supply situation may also be attributed to the restrictions in movement of live birds, poultry products and by-products due to Avian Influenza (AI) cases in some areas,” Morales said.

He said that the BAI has also monitored a decrease in the volume of production due to high cost of feed inputs along with challenges on other Hepatitis which could also be attributed to stunted growth of poultry birds.

Early this week, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. announced that his administration’s priority is the increase of production of the country’s major staples, including corn, which is consumed as food and animal feed.

“Corn especially became very important because the feed-wheat that we were importing, na-cut off ang supply nation, so we have to substitute it with corn,” Marcos said.

“This season, the corn growers were able to come together and provide sufficient feed for the broiler production,” the President added.

As such, support will be given to industry stakeholders to ensure steady production of poultry and supply of chicken, the DA said. —LBG, GMA News