The Department of Agriculture is encouraging Filipino livestock raisers and stakeholders to see the economic integration as an opportunity and challenge, and not as a threat to the sector.
The free movement of goods and services in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) fuels the need to lower cost, propagate value-adding techniques, and pull stakeholders together to make the Philippine livestock sector competitive versus other ASEAN countries.
“With the Philippines being free from transboundary animal diseases such as FMD and zoonotic diseases such as HPAI, the country remains an attractive trading partner, and exporter of processed meat products,” said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.
The DA is open to providing the needed assistance to ensure food safety and that local products meet international standards, so as to enable entrepreneurs to not only enter, but also flourish in the global stage.
Sec. Alcala urged livestock industry stakeholders to follow government regulations and work with responsible agencies in making production more cost-efficient and in making local products more marketable.
Meat consumers in Southeast Asia will increasingly demand higher-quality meat products, prompting farmers to invest and raise production standards.
Along with this, there will be more investment from animal farmers and manufacturers, who produce animal health products.
Lifting the standard can be achieved by strengthening local industries and making it more competitive, promoting Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP), improving animal health services and standard requirement for animal and animal products, and strengthening trans-boundary animal disease control, Sec. Alcala said.
High production cost and other issues such as antibiotic residues, antimicrobial resistance are some of the priorities the national government is looking at.
The passing of salient legislations such as the Food Safety Act, Revised Animal Welfare Act, and the Revised Meat Inspection Code has provided the roadmap to conduct research for development of evidence-based policies as well as animal production and health programs
Research and development and technology promotion are the keys to enhance production and lower costs, he added. (Marlo Asis, DA-AFID)
Posted By: Lynne Pingoy