The Department of Agriculture (DA), through its Bureau of Animal Industry-Animal Products Development Center (BAI-APDC), inaugurated the country’s first government-owned “AA” duck slaughter house and packing plant at the BAI-APDC compound in Marulas, Valenzuela City on June 18, 2015.
According to Dr. Rubina Cresencio, BAI director, the duck-dedicated slaughterhouse and packing plant is a realization of one of the goals of the government’s duck industry development roadmap—that is to mainstream and improve duck meat production and processing in the country.
“In the past, we focused only on duck eggs; but with the emergence of more potential markets for duck meat abroad, the agency has begun investing more funds in improving our duck meat industry,” Dr. Cresencio said. She added that to realize the project and ensure its success, the bureau sent a team of DA-BAI personnel to South Korea to study a duck dressing plant and develop a model for the Philippines.
Dr. Cresencio said that the facility, which can produce 150 dressed ducks per hour, will be open for use by interested duck raisers for a reasonable fee. She said that this will encourage raisers to increase production, hence meeting the increasing demand—both domestic and abroad.
Dr. Minda Manantan, executive director of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) said that in 2014 Japan opened its doors for commercial shipment of duck meat from the Philippines.
“Commercial growers have already started exporting to Japan. But for inclusive growth, [DA] Secretary Alcala has instructed us to establish a mechanism for small growers [to also participate],” Dr. Manantan added. She likewise said that the NMIS will continue to support meeting post-harvest requirements for the industry to access more markets.
DA Undersecretary Jose Reaño meanwhile stressed that the government and the industry players should collaborate further to develop the industry and become more competitive in the international market. He underscored that being competitive means meeting standards demanded by global buyers.
“Growth is just quantity; development is about quality. We can develop new markets with value-adding—for example, [developing products such as] duck lechon, duck meat fillet, and other processed meat products,” Reaño said.
The Undersecretary said that among the areas the industry should now focus on are duck genetics, nutrition and possible diseases. He also said that the industry should decide what international standards to meet as standards vary from country to country, for instance on fat content. (Jan P. Dacumos, DA-AFID)
Posted By: Lynne Pingoy