Amid the African Swine Fever (ASF) that affected local pork meat, the government is urging Filipinos, who are now turning into chicken as their source of meat, to buy locally produced agricultural products.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said buying local produce, especially rice can support Filipino farmers.
DAR said his department will ensure that local farmers will be competitive, as it focuses on increasing the production and also strengthening industrialization anchored on a value-chain approach.
Food producer Bounty Fresh has also highlighted the benefits of consuming farm fresh chicken and egg products.
It led last month the celebration of “World Chicken and Egg Day” to raise awareness about the nutritional value of eggs and other chicken products, as well as build appreciation for their contribution to the everyday diet.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated in its biannual global livestock and poultry report that Filipino consumption of chicken would rise by 13.33 percent to 2 million metric tons (MT) this year from 1.76 million MT.
Philippine imports of chicken are forecast to increase by 27 percent with prices of chicken rising in proportion to the increase in demand.
As of July 2019, the total inventory of chicken was estimated at 191.70 million birds, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported.
Chicken is mostly raised in the regions of Central Luzon, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), Northern Mindanao and Western Visayas.
These regions accounted for more than half, or 55.5 percent of the total chicken inventory in the country. (PNA)