DA chief urges LGUS to include dressed chicken in relief packs

- By Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas @jearcalas

THE Department of Agricultur­e (DA) on Thursday urged local government units (LGUS) to include chicken meat in their food packs to help ease the domestic glut that has pushed the farm-gate price of live broilers below profitable levels.

In a news statement, Agricultur­e Secretary William D. Dar said the inclusion of chicken meat in the national and local government’s relief goods would “hike the demand and increase farm-gate price of broilers.”

Dar explained that he issued the appeal as a response to the concerns of the United Broiler Raisers Associatio­n (UBRA) of low farm-gate prices due to weak demand and oversupply.

“We need to explore new markets to prop up demand after a great number of food establishm­ents and restaurant­s have discontinu­ed, or reduced their operations,” he said.

Dar disclosed that the DA has been in talks as well with the Department­s of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Social Welfare and Developmen­t (DSWD) to purchase local chicken meat and include it in their relief goods.

Dar said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III was amenable about the idea and had been exploring the option to do it through the DOLE’S “Tulong Panghanap-buhay sa Ating

Disadvanta­ged/displaced Workers.”

“We will also present the proposal to the Department of Social Welfare and Developmen­t to include chicken meat in their relief food packs,” he said.

The DSWD is a member of the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases’ Task Group on Food Security (TGFS) and its sub-group on procuremen­t, food packs and distributi­on, according to the DA.

P4B financial, food subsidy

IN a webinar on the same day, Dar revealed that P4 billion of the DA’S P24-billion fund under the Bayanihan 2 would be used to provide 800,000 farmers and fisherfolk with a P5,000 financial and food subsidy.

Dar added that P3,000 would be given in cash, while the remaining P2,000 would be in kind with P1,000 being spent on chicken and the remaining amount for rice.

Through this way, Dar explained, the domestic glut on chicken meat supply would ease and provide favorable farm-gate price for broiler raisers and would also stabilize palay prices during the harvest season.

“It will stimulate [demand] and create a market. For our rice farmers it will mean that the current stocks would be sold and millers would buy more again from the farmers to replenish their stocks,” he said.

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