Philippines eyes importing more pork products – Dar

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Monday that the Philippines mulls increasing the volume of pork imports to ensure there is a stable supply in the country.

According to Dar, the eyes increasing the minimum access volume (MAV) for pork, which is currently 54,000 metric tons.

“Pinag-aaralan na namin yung dagdagan itong minimum access volume to triple what is allowed,” Dar said at the Laging Handa briefing.

Dar’s statement comes as 11 of the 17 in the Philippines reported cases of African swine fever. The DA chief said the ASF has already affected 2,130 barangays.

Earlier this month, a group of producers in the said hog raisers’ pig supply in Luzon is “almost depleted” due to African Swine Fever (ASF).

Nicanor Briones, vice president of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines, said that 70 percent of the estimated 7.5 million pigs in Luzon were affected, based on their estimates.

“Halos naubos na ang mga inahin at mga alagang baboy ng ating mga backyard at commercial raisers sa buong Luzon dahil sa African Swine Fever, hindi dahil sa tinamaan ng sakit pero dahil kusang nag-alis ng alaga, dahil sila ay tinamaan, talagang bankrupt ka kapag tinamaan ng sakit na iyan dahil walang gamot,” said Briones.

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Philippines eyes importing more pork products – Dar

The group also complained that the assistance of the Department of Agriculture (DA) was not enough so many  allegedly stopped doing business.

Some markets in Manila sell up to P350 per kilo of pork due to limited supply.

The DA assured that they are making ways to address the shortage of pork supply.

“Tuluy-tuloy po, sir, nagpapadala pa rin po tayo ng baboy mula sa Visayas at Mindanao,” said Agriculture Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista.

“Mayroon po tayong Kadiwa meat, ito po ay pasok sa ating SRP at ito po ay alternative place para makabili po sila ng baboy na tama po ang presyo,” she added.

The DA also appealed to traders not to increase the price too much so that the price does not rise in the market.