DA eyes transporting pork products from Mindanao to stabilize supply, prices

Robie de Guzman   •   April 30, 2020   •   305

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it is planning to transport surplus pork products in Mindanao to Visayas and Luzon to help stabilize the supply and prices of pork in Metro Manila and other areas.

In a statement, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said they are looking at an initial volume of 1,700 metric tons (MT) of pork from Davao and General Santos City that are available for immediate transport to Visayas and Luzon.

Dar said they are now coordinating with hog raisers in Mindanao regarding the matter.

“This is a welcome development as relayed by DA Undersecretary Evelyn Laviña, who was tasked to coordinate with hog raisers and logistics providers in Mindanao to bring surplus pork to where it is most needed in Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon and Visayas,” the DA chief said.

Laviña said hog raisers in Davao have committed to ship their surplus pork at 500 MT a month, while those in General Santos and Cagayan de Oro could ship 3,000 MT monthly.

“However, we are confronted with a few challenges in transporting frozen pork, including other food and fishery products, from Mindanao to Visayas and Luzon, but we are addressing them swiftly in direct consultation with concerned local government units,” Dar said.

The DA chief did not specify the challenges he mentioned but he emphasized the agency’s advocacy for the unhampered movement of pork due to the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

He also assured that pork products from Mindanao are of good quality and are free from African Swine Fever (ASF).

“We continue to strictly enforce the biosecurity and quarantine measures to effectively manage, contain and control ASF, and prevent it from spreading to Visayas and Mindanao that are free from the dreaded swine disease,” Dar said.

The DA chief likewise reiterated that the country has enough supply of pork for the second and third quarters of 2020.

However, the country is forecasted to have a pork deficit by the end of the year.

“Right now our pork sufficiency is 93 percent, as we forecast a deficit by the end of the year, at 31 days,” he said.

“In lieu of pork, we enjoin consumers to shift to other protein sources like chicken, as we have an abundant supply of up to 233 days or till August 2021,” Dar said.

He also called on local government units in Luzon to consider buying chicken and eggs, and other produce to help local farmers, fishers, and poultry raisers.

“Now, more than ever, is the time to help farmers and fishers by buying directly from them, and selling their produce — like palay, corn, vegetables, fruits, hogs and chickens, and fish, among others — at affordable prices to consumers through regular outlets like Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita,” he said.

PH has enough rice supply for entire year – DA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 13, 2020

Filipino workers carry sacks of government-subsidized rice (NFA Rice) into a store selling various rice brands at a market in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 04 October 2018. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has reassured the public that the country’s rice supply remains sufficient for the entire year “with a comfortable level of inventory.”

“Going into the lean months and onto December 31, 2020, we have enough supply of food, and that includes our major staple – rice,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“We remain consistent that our total projected supply of rice by end of December 2020 would be 17.994 million metric tons (MMT), while our total projected demand would be 14.668 MMT, leaving a year-end inventory of 3.326 MMT,” he added.

With these projections, Dar said that the beginning inventory in January 2021 is seen to last for 94 days.

The DA estimated the projected 2020 year-end supply using three components, namely:

  • Beginning stock in January 2020 or the surplus in December 2019;
  • Total domestic palay production, from January to December 2020; and
  • Total rice imports, January to December 2020, including the 300,000 MT to be imported by the DTI’s Philippine International Trading Corp. under a government-to-government arrangement

The DA said that the respective figures are gathered by its field operations service (FOS) from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Bureau of Customs (BOC) on rice imports, other relevant government agencies, and DA regional field offices (RFOs) in tandem with local government units (LGUs), on palay production.

The PSA’s supply utilization accounts of selected agricultural commodities showed that, of the total rice demand, an average of only 88% serves as food or what is actually eaten, the remaining 12% is allotted for seeds, feeds and industrial uses.

“Hence, of the total projected demand of 14.488 MMT, the actual rice that would be consumed as food would only amount to 12.9 MMT,” the department said.

Citing PSA report, the DA said that a Filipino consumes a total of 118.81 kilograms annually, equivalent to 325.5 grams of milled rice daily.

With a current population of 108.66 million Filipinos, the country’s total annual consumption would amount to 12.9 MMT.

“We hope this will clarify issues on our rice supply, demand, and consumption situation. Again, we assure the nation that the DA is doing its best to secure the country with enough and affordable food for all. Our programs to make this happen are already in place to help our farmers and fisherfolk,” Dar said.

The DA chief made the clarification following concerns on food supply amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

LGUs buy over P1.58-B worth of farm and fishery products amid ECQ — DA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has reported that local government units have bought more than P1.58 billion worth of farmers’ and fisherfolks’ produce since the enhanced community quarantine against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was imposed on Metro Manila and other areas in the country.

In a statement released on Thursday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that tons of agri-fishery products, ranging from palay, milled rice, corn, vegetables, fruits, pork, chicken, fish and spices, were purchased by LGUs directly from local farmers and fishers since March 15.

“We are indeed happy to report that since the start of the enforcement of the ECQ, around 245 LGUs heeded our call to patronize the products of our farmers and fishers and make these part of food packs distributed to their constituents. This number is certainly growing as we speak,” Dar said.

“The LGUs are our primary partners in cascading our sectoral interventions on production to consumption, marketing included. We would like to involve them in the entire value chain to make sure that our support mechanisms reach targeted beneficiaries,” he added.

The sales were monitored by the DA’s Regional Feld Offices (RFOs) through their respective Agribusiness Marketing and Assistance Division (AMAD).

The DA earlier called on local government units to buy agri-products and include in the relief packs being distributed to their constituents to help local farmers amid the public health crisis.

To focus and strengthen linkages between food producers and the markets, the department said it has formed four food value chain clusters – Luzon A (CAR and Regions 1 to 3), Luzon B (Regions 4A, 4B, and 5), Visayas (Regions 6 to 8, and Mindanao (Regions 9 to 13).

“Through the clusters, we plan the availability, pre-positioning, and movement of products from the municipal to provincial level, then regional, and finally among clusters,” Dar said.

“The mobility plan looks into the movement of agri-fishery commodities from producers, to traders, processors, and wholesalers/retailers, down to the household consumers,” he added.

The DA said that with the help of LGUs and other agencies, the clusters will identify prime agri-fishery commodities and potential markets, monitor the markets, and coordinate relevant concerns to develop location-specific resiliency plans aimed at attaining higher levels of food sufficiency.

“It is the DA’s job to ensure enough supply of food in the country. Our LGUs can count on us to link them to our food producers, while they help us market farmers’ produce and provide every household adequate and affordable food,” the DA chief said.

“In all, in partnership with the LGUs, the private sector, and farmers’ and fisherfolk’s groups, we ensure farmers of a ready market and steady income, as well as provide consumers with affordable, healthy, and nutritious food. Along the process, we also help stabilize the prices of basic commodities,” he added.

Dar also called on other LGUs to adopt the practice so it can be institutionalized even after the COVID-19 crisis and the country has moved on to the “new normal”.

Agriculture dept. opens online marketplace for farmers’ produce

Robie de Guzman   •   May 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday announced it has opened an online marketing platform where agri-producers and farmers can sell their fresh produce to consumers.

“Through eKadiwa, we strengthen our commitment to providing every Filipino family a convenient and easier way to buying fresh, nutritious, and safe food products by simply using a mobile phone or computer,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement.

He said customers interested to buy fresh produce and fishery products may place their orders via eKadiwa.da.gov.ph.

The DA said that the eKadiwa project has three initial merchants: AgriNurture, Inc. (ANI); Zagana, Inc.; and Benjabi Ventures Corp.

“The goods will be delivered initially via Mober, Inc. Other transport and delivery service providers like Lalamove and Grab have signified joining the eKadiwa project,” the DA said.

Customers may choose to pay cash or through bank transfer upon the delivery of products.

The eKadiwa will initially cover Metro Manila and eventually expand to other major urban areas nationwide, Dar said.

“In the coming days, we expect to partner with more farmers’ and fishers’ groups, and merchants. Individual sellers or producers’ groups can also register as vendors for free at the eKadiwa site, and this would enable us to reach more customers,” he added.


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