The Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking to revive government-owned poultry and livestock facilities that have been dormant over the years as part of its initiative to modernize these agricultural subsectors.

National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) Director Rieldrin Morales said the agency was working on jump-starting the operations of a dressing plant and a slaughterhouse which were constructed by the government years ago but were not used.

Eyed for the initiative is an “AAA” dressing plant in Tarlac that was built in 2014 but was never put to use.

Plants with AAA accreditation have facilities and procedures that could pass the standards of both domestic and international markets. Morales said the industrial unit had the capacity to process as many as 30,000 chickens a day.

The plant, which cost the government P100 million to construct, would be revived and operated within the year through the help of the local government unit and the private sector.

This would allow farmers to have their chickens dressed without going through middlemen and traders in the value chain. This will allow farmers to earn more. Moreover, the NMIS will also fast-track the revival of a slaughterhouse that the government constructed in Batangas.

Both facilities will likely be operated by the private sector to ensure that they would be properly maintained, but the agency said it was also talking with provincial government units to ensure that stakeholders in the area would be able to use the facilities.

Bureau of Animal Industry Director Ronnie Domingo said this was part of the agency’s initiatives to bring prices of poultry and livestock products up and extend help to poultry and livestock raisers who had been adversely affected by the new coronavirus pandemic.

As of May 25, data showed that the frozen inventory of chicken was at 97 million kilos—the highest inventory recorded by the industry.

It led to falling farm-gate prices of chicken to as low as P56 a kilo at the height of quarantine, which was even below the production cost of P70 a kilo. —KARL R. OCAMPO


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