Farmers’ group wants price ceiling on pork

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
Farmers� group wants price ceiling on pork
Vendors display their products such as vegetables, fish, meat, and fruits up for sale at a public market in Lingayen, Pangasinan on December 23, 2023, two days before Christmas.
Cesar Ramirez / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — The farmers’ group Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food is pushing for the imposition of a price ceiling for pork amid the continued spike in its retail cost, reaching as high as P420 per kilo in some places.

Danilo Fausto, the group’s president, noted that the farmgate price of pork ranged only between P140 and P160 per kilo.

“A temporary price ceiling should be done. The SRP (suggested retail price) is only the suggested price, while (a violation of the) price ceiling has an imprisonment clause,” Fausto said.

“The P420 (per kilo) is too much. It (retail price of pork belly) should be P300, the most is P340 (per kilo),” he added.

Based on monitoring of the Department of Agriculture in Metro Manila markets, pork shoulder is sold as high as P370 per kilo and pork belly as high as P420 per kilo.

“There is no reason for prices to go up,” Fausto maintained.

Meanwhile, Fausto said the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) could not be stopped unless there is a vaccine as he urged the Food and Drug Administration and the Bureau of Animal Industry to agree on the vaccine issue.

He noted that bigger commercial farmers are against the ASF vaccine as the international market does not allow its use on pork products.

“Big hog raisers do not want their vaccine as they also export. The international market does not allow export products with (ASF) vaccine, that is why they are implementing strict biosecurity,” he pointed out.

According to Fausto, the population of backyard piggery will decrease to 30 percent from the current 60 percent amid the continued spread of ASF.

“It will be replaced by bigger commercial farms that can afford biosecurity measures with or without ASF,” he said.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. has vowed to make the ASF vaccine available within the year. He said two companies – Vietnamese and American – are seeking regulatory approval from the FDA for their vaccines, adding that two other firms from Vietnam and Thailand are planning to apply.

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