Mindanao producers seek help to meet export target

by 5m Editor
11 August 2008, at 11:42am

PHILIPPINES - Swine producers in South Cotabato have asked the Department of Agriculture (DA) for funding assistance to expand accredited piggery output by 20 percent as the region gears up to for the export of cut pork meat products to Singapore.

A refrigerated container van of cut pork meat products is set to be shipped to Singapore soon, the first foreign foray for the country's swine industry reports the Sun Star.

Emilio V. Escobillo Jr., president of South Cotabato Swine Producers Association, said they are targeting to capture around 25 percent of the Singaporean demand for pork meat products without hurting the domestic market.

"That's why participating farms need the necessary funding for expansion of swine farms to meet our target in Singapore. We are asking the help of the Department of Agriculture to meet the goal," he said.

Singapore's daily pork meat requirement reportedly reaches 4,000 head per day - up to 120,000 head a month.

But Escobillo said that Mindanao could only so far supply about five percent or 6,000 heads a month to Singapore to avoid shortage in the domestic market.

He noted that Singapore is strict on the no antibiotic requirement of pork meat products, but that participating swine farms are complying with the standards, including adhering to traceability system that shall determine culpability.

Abusama M. Alid, regional Agriculture director, urged the swine producers to submit proposals for expansion project before the agency, as he noted that the country is now ready for the pilot pork shipment to Singapore.

Escobillo expressed optimism that Singapore's acceptance of the country's pork meat will open the doors to other foreign markets in the Asian region.

In May, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore accredited Matutum Meat as the only processor of cut pork meat products in the Philippines allowed to ship in the island state.

"We hope to penetrate other markets in Asia now that we are accredited by Singapore," said Stephen G. Castillo, Matutum Meat general manager, stressing that Singapore's standards serve as the barometer to prick other markets in the Asian region.

Matutum Meat is one of two Mindanao firms earlier identified by the Agriculture department to pioneer the country's venture in the foreign pork market. The other one is the Davao City-based Nenita's Quality Foods Corp. which is still working on receiving accreditation.

5m Editor