AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said poultry growers should increase farmgate prices of chicken by P10 weekly from the current P38 per kilo to prevent them from exiting the industry.
“I left them with the appeal that once and for all, they should agree among themselves to protect themselves. Prices at farmgate have fallen to P38 in some areas and the farmers are losing. So my suggestion a while ago is that they should agree to increase the farmgate price by at least P10 every week until such time that it hits a level where they are not losing money. If we do not address this problem, some of the small players might leave the business and in a few months, we might have a shortage of chicken,” Mr. Piñol told reporters on the sidelines of a livestock and poultry stakeholders’ meeting with government officials on Tuesday.
Mr. Piñol said that the Department of Agriculture (DA) will review the volume of imported chicken as it might exceed the absorptive capacity of the market.
Mr. Piñol said the volume of imported chicken increased by 50 million kilograms (kg) from a year earlier and 16 million kg remains in cold storage as of today. Eighteen million kg of domestic chicken is also in cold storage, according to Mr. Piñol.
“The strategy of big players is to dress their chicken and keep it in cold storage at times when prices are low, but now cold storage facilities are full, there is no place to put product. They keep bringing in chicken, and prices have fallen,” Mr. Piñol said.
Mr. Piñol said that according to stakeholders, banks have been lenient in lending money for poultry raisers without considering the supply in the market.
“There is an oversupply of chicken, stakeholders admit it. One of the things they cited is easy access to bank financing, and everybody now would like to go to into the poultry business because the banks have money and they aren’t actually checking out the supply situation,” Mr. Piñol said.
Mr. Piñol added that he is hoping negotiations with Singapore to start importing Philippine chicken, vegetables, and pork will help curb oversupply.
Mr. Piñol said an increase in farmgate price will not trigger an increase in the market price of chicken as the DA, with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) setting a suggested retail price (SRP) of P50 above the farmgate price.
“We are not expecting the retail price to go up because there is an SRP. In fact, and retail price now is violates the agreed SRP where the computation was farmgate price plus P50. What that means is that if farmgate is P38 now, retail should be P88, which no one is following,” Mr. Piñol said.
The DTI is set to conduct wet market rounds to monitor prices, Mr. Piñol said. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio