DAVAO CITY’S poultry and egg producers have asked the Agriculture department’s regional office to go ahead with the proposed establishment of a breeder farm in the city to ensure stable supply and food security.

“As of now we depend on hatching eggs from Luzon and other areas, and the breeder farms in Davao Region are small,” Lalaine Lillibeth A. dela Victoria, president of the Davao Poultry and Egg Producers, Inc., said.

Speaking at the 22nd Davao Agri Trade Expo Webinar Series on Biosecurity Measures and Farm Management Systems last week, Ms. Dela Victoria noted that supply has tightened recently for hatching eggs from both domestic and foreign supplies.

“The imported hatching eggs are not getting delivered because of the pandemic,” she said.

She also said demand for chicken has increased as an alternative to pork, which has been affected by African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks in parts of the region.

The Department of Agriculture’s Davao office has been rolling out livestock and poultry expansion programs to assist raisers affected by the ASF as well as other growers hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hog repopulation is being undertaken on a small scale with ASF-affected areas still being monitored and tested for the virus.

Ms. Dela Victoria said a breeder farm in the city would address long-term demand and ensure food security.

Davao Region produced 81,090 metric tons (MT) of chicken in 2019, seventh out of 16 producing regions, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Davao City accounted for 61% of the region’s chicken output with 49,263 MT.

Chicken production in the region expanded at an annual average rate of 3.53% between 2015 and 2019, with the highest growth recorded in 2015 at 7.54%. — Maya M. Padillo