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DA urged to bring surplus pork from VisMin to Luzon
The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon has resulted in the increase of pork supply in the region with demand going down by at least 20 percent as major fast food chains, restaurants and tourist sites remain closed.
AFP, file

DA urged to bring surplus pork from VisMin to Luzon

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - April 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Industry stakeholders are calling on the Department of Agriculture to bring the excess pork supply from Visayas and Mindanao to Luzon to boost inventory amid the extended enhanced community quarantine.

Agriculture group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) said bringing surplus pork supply from Mindanao and some regions in the Visayas to Luzon would balance the pork demand of the country.

“The pork from Mindanao will help fill the needs of our supermarkets, while the pork from Luzon will continue to supply our local wet markets and pamilihang bayan,” Sinag said.

“Central Visayas, a central hub for local production, has at least three months of pork surplus while cold storages in Southern Mindanao and some regions in Visayas are filled to capacity with stocks of surplus pork for more than three months,” it said.

The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon has resulted in the increase of pork supply in the region with demand going down by at least 20 percent as major fast food chains, restaurants and tourist sites remain closed.

The Department of Agriculture earlier indicated a 24 percent increase in the annual chicken supply requirement of 1.3 million metric tons or an inventory that will last until January 2021.

However, even with the current surplus of pork and chicken, Sinag said production of the commodities must continue amid the global warning of a possible food crisis as the coronavirus disease remains a threat worldwide.

The National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. said the surplus should not stop raisers from continuing production.

“Local production must continue and further expand amid the warning of the Food and Agriculture Organization of a possible food crisis as countries close their borders and halt export contracts because of the pandemic,” NFHFI chairman Chester Tan said.

“The case of hundreds of workers in different major pork plants in the US contracting COVID-19 raises further our concern of pork imports as a major public health concern and imports of any kind as unsafe, erratic and expensive,” he said.

Stakeholders maintained that now is the best time for the agriculture industry to partner with the government and reinvigorate the whole sector, encourage more farmers to plant and raise livestock, support the supply chain across commodities and reverse the threat of hunger.

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