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Meat Laboratory Inaugurated in South Cotabato

by 5m Editor
30 July 2008, at 8:09am

THE PHILIPPINES - Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap spearheaded the opening of the state-of-the-art P20 million meat laboratory as swine industry stakeholders brace for the country's shipment of pork meat products to Singapore.

He said the facility is a big boost to the livestock industry not just for South Cotabato but for the whole country as well. Mindanao has been chosen by the National Government to initiate the country's pork export since the island has been certified as free from the dreaded foot-and-mouth disease.

He added that he is bullish that pork meat from the Philippines can penetrate the Asia-Pacific region, starting with Singapore.

Singaporean investors visiting the processing plant of Matutum Meat Packing Corporation and which is also located near the meat laboratory in Brgy. Glamang is met by the Sec. Yap along with local officials and private sectors.

They will evaluate the facilities of hog farms, farm inspection system implemented by the government, good husbandry practices, cleaning, disinfecting, biosecurity measures and the animal traceability.

DA-12 Regional Executive Director Abusama Alid said the laboratory's establishment has the full support of private hog growers in the province, with the South Cotabato Swine Producers Association donating the 1,500 square meter lot.

He said the facility have the capability to conduct microbial analysis, chemical level analysis, veterinary drug residue analysis, and other meat-related examination and inspection.

Regional Agriculture Director Abusama Alid said the department expects the pork meat export to enhance the growth of the swine industry in the area.

"With a successful penetration of the Singaporean market, demand for pigs would eventually surge," he predicted.

South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes together with Polomolok mayor Isidro Lumayag and Gen. Santos City Mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. expressed optimism that the facility will likewise generate more jobs and opportunities to the province and the city as businessmen would surely invest in livestock.

In related development, Yap led the mechanized planting of corn using a tractor (with corn planter and fertilizer applicator) at Barangay Polunoling in Tupi, also in South Cotabato.

In his speech with the farmers, Yap emphasized that aside from rice, corn should also be given attention since it is also staple to many especially those in the Visayas and Mindanao region. Corn is not only for human consumption but also feeds for livestock and poultry production. Corn is very vital for the livestock industry because it is the main ingredient for feeds.

Yap is happy to note that Mt. Matutum Hybrid Corn Trading Center is now expanding its area to 5,000 hectares. This he said is another development in the corn and livestock industry and to complement, the government is putting up a corn processing and trading center to cater the post harvest operations and marketing needs of the farmers here.

Here in South Cotabato, I am assured that the farmers here are taken cared of because Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes is very pro-agriculture. I also need the help of the mayors, municipal agricultural officials down to the agricultural technicians because they are the frontliners in implementing the programs and projects of the agriculture department. Let us help each other, Sec. Yap explained.

Gov. Fuentes proudly announced that the DA-NABCOR Corn Post Harvest Processing and Trading Center has a great impact on farmers and encouraged farmers to treat it as a gift from the government. This is one of the government initiatives that I salute of, said Fuentes.

5m Editor