LOCAL GOVERNMENT units (LGUs) were urged to include chicken in their relief packs for vulnerable communities to address the supply glut and normalize prices, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar encouraged LGUs to help address appeals from members of the United Broiler Raisers Association for government support due to weak demand, which has increased the surplus of chicken meat during the pandemic.

“The inclusion of fresh chicken in the relief goods would raise demand and increase the farmgate prices of broilers. We need to explore new markets to prop up demand, after a great number of food establishments and restaurants have discontinued or reduced their operations,” Mr. Dar said.

In addition, Mr. Dar said the DA is in talks with the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) about possible markets for the surplus chicken.

Mr. Dar said that Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III is open to including chicken under the DoLE’s employment assistance program.

“We will also present the proposal to the DSWD to include chicken meat in their relief food packs,” Mr. Dar said.

According to the DA, the food packs distributed by the national government consist of mostly shelf-stable goods like rice, sardines, noodles, and sugar. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave