The Philippine broiler industry expects to grow by 21%
in 2008, despite risks of oversupply and high production costs, said an industry
Rita Imelda Palabyab, president of the Philippine Association of Breeders
and Integrators, recently stated at the 2008 National Food Summit that this
growth can â€œassure everyone of sufficient supply of chicken this yearâ€, reports
the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
â€œHowever, it comes with major risk for producers, not only from possible
oversupply but also from high increases in the prices of feeds and raw materials
driven by growing demand for biofuels,â€ she said, adding that feed and feed
ingredients constitute about 65% of a raiser's production cost.
In light of this, Palabyab urged the government to address three major
issues concerning the Philippine broiler industry.
â€œOur first appeal is for the Philippines to maintain priority in the use of
corn for food and by extension, for animal feeds,â€ she said.
â€œSecond, [there is a] need to strengthen our country's disease surveillance
and meat inspection system, not only to ensure food safety, but to also open
more opportunities for export,â€ she continued, adding that with the country's
bird flu-free status, the Philippines can expand its export market. The Bureau
of Animal Industry said it expects chicken exports to Japan to increase by 33%
to 8 mln kg this year, boosted partly by a projected increase in local
â€œLastly, as we negotiate in the WTO and enter the different free trade
agreements, we urge the government to preserve the current tariff structure for
chicken so that the industry can continue to be a positive contributor to the
country's food security,â€ she concluded.