By Neil Arwin Mercado | Inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines — In a bid to lower the price of pork, presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. vowed Monday to fund research on alternative raw materials for animal feeds if he is elected in the upcoming elections.
Marcos said that the country’s dependence on foreign-sourced raw materials in animal feeds is a contributor to the high prices of pork products here.
“Our dependence on imported ingredients for our local animal feed production is one of the reasons why the price of pork products remains high in the country. Reducing or eliminating this would ultimately lead to reduced farm gate prices,” Marcos said in a statement.
According to Marcos, feeds alone equate to 54.64 percent of the cost for backyard raisers and 64.53 percent for commercial raisers. He also noted that the cost of feeds in the Philippines is higher compared to Vietnam and China.
“There is ongoing research for the use of copra meal and cassava as an alternative feed ingredient and we will support that initiative. Alongside this, we will look into improving the yield of cassava to make it readily available as raw material,” Marcos said.
“There is also an urgent need for us to revive our local corn production because the high tariff imposed on imported corn drives the price of feeds further,” he added.
Marcos also said that the proposal to lift the ban on processed animal protein has to be reviewed.
“We need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of the proposal to lift the ban on processed animal protein. The local hog industry is just beginning to recover. We cannot risk this sector to be devastated again by ASF (African Swine Fever),” Marcos said.
Citing 2020 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Marcos said local swine production is a P249.66 billion industry primarily composed of backyard raisers.