The country’s poultry production could go up by 9 percent, while livestock output could increase by as much as 5 percent this year on the back of good weather and the absence of diseases, officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said robust domestic demand for chicken and pork is encouraging hog raisers and poultry growers to increase their output.
“We expect the output of the poultry and the livestock subsectors to expand this year,” Alcala said on the sidelines of the opening of Livestock Philippines in Pasay City on Thursday.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that livestock production increased by 1.02 percent last year. This was due to the 11-percent hike in cattle output in 2014.
Meanwhile, the poultry subsector inched up by 0.27 percent in 2014, and accounted for nearly 15 percent of total agricultural output. The PSA said the sources of growth were chicken, duck and duck egg.
Currently, Agriculture Undersecretary Jose C. Reaño said the country has a large inventory of poultry breeders.
Reaño said chicken inventory as of last week has already reached more than 20 million kilograms and that the figure will continue to rise. By December, inventory is expected to hit 30 million kilos, as poultry growers increase their output in anticipation of higher demand for chicken during the holidays.
The latest report from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) showed that chicken in cold storages as of June 22 jumped by almost fivefold to 24,175.96 metric tons (MT), from 4,378.58 MT recorded in the same period last year.
NMIS data also showed that pork in cold storages rose by 63.64 percent to 10,176.33 MT, from 6,218.71 MT a year ago.
Meanwhile, President Aquino said the country has been performing “very well” in terms of food safety.
In his speech during the opening of Livestock Philippines, Mr. Aquino said this is due to the 108-percent increase in the budget of the livestock and poultry subsectors over the course of his term. This, he said, has allowed the government to focus on animal health by providing vaccinations and undertaking disease surveillance.
The Philippines has been free from avian influenza since 2005 and the foot-and-mouth disease since 2010.