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Chicken production already improving, says BAI

The local production of chicken and chicken products is already improving, a top official of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) said Tuesday.

At the Laging Handa briefing, DA-BAI officer-in-charge Reildrin Morales said the agency held a meeting with the broiler industry and fast-food chain stakeholders to discuss the pressing issues concerning the sector, particularly low production while demand is high.

"Kausap natin kahapon kasama ang stakeholders ng broiler industry at sinasabi nilang gumaganda na po ang production cycle," Morales said.

(We had a meeting yesterday with our broiler industry stakeholders and they told us that the production cycle is already improving.)

Meanwhile, the DA-BAI official said that fast-food chains have already clarified that there is enough supply of chicken but the quality does not meet their specifications.

To recall, fast-food giants Jollibee Group and McDonald’s Philippines said some of their stores had been experiencing chicken supply challenges, saying there is a limited chicken supply in the market that meet their standards. 

Morales said the low local production was caused by several factors such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict which caused raw materials for making feeds go up, threat of avian influenza, and the unpredictability of weather that caused stunted growths among some broilers.

Broiler raisers have earlier said that the local poultry sector held back or reduced production due to an influx of chicken imports, which was supposedly meant to bring down prices. This discouraged local producers which eventually affected local supply.

The low supply coupled by increase in demand caused chicken prices to go up. Latest market monitoring showed that the price of whole chicken is at P200 per kilogram. At the start of the year, it was only priced at P160 a kilo.

Nonetheless, Morales said that stakeholders are already in their full capacities.

"Tingnan po natin ang harvest nitong July-August… kasi ang sinasabi ng ibang kompanya nasa full capacity naman daw po ang farms and tingnan natin ang darating na cycle. hopefully makahabol ang suplay sa mataas na demand," he said.

(Let’s see the harvest for July-August period… as some companies are already in their full capacity of their farms and let’s see in the incoming cycle. Hopefully, the supply catches up with the high demand.)

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

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