Cotabato City’s P20-million halal slaughterhouse nears completion

April 14, 2015
BusinessWorld Online

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said in a statement yesterday that the facility, the first of its kind in the Philippines, is nearing completion.

The slaughterhouse will have a capacity of 15 head of cattle, 10 carabao and 40 goat every hour.

Funded through DA’s Livestock Development Program, the slaughterhouse is expected to supply halal products for both Muslim and non-Muslim consumers in Cotabato, Central Mindanao and other neighboring areas.

The abbatoir is currently rated an “AA” slaughterhouse and the DA is planning to acquire other equipment like a cold storage facility to upgrade its rating to “AAA.”

“An ‘AAA’ slaughterhouse can be accredited to process meat for export,” the DA said.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said stakeholders should come up with a halal livestock road map since there is a potential to supply such products to BIMP-EAGA or the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area.

“The Secretary committed to send a team to facilitate the drafting of a road map so this can be integrated in the DA’s 2016 budget,” the DA said.

“He also pledged that the DA will assist the province in embarking on a silage development program, and a halal livestock genetic improvement program, which will include an initial provision of top livestock breeds such as the Anglo-Nubian goat and Brahma cattle,” it added.

In a separate statement, the DA announced that it will step up efforts to avoid overpricing of poultry products in local markets.

The agency said it will post farm gate prices of chicken and hogs in markets to highlight cases of overpricing.

Undersecretary for Livestock Jose C. Reaño said price notices will also help poultry raisers who are losing money due to the oversupply of chicken.

Latest inventories at cold storage plants showed that there is glut of chicken.

“Last week, we have an inventory of 20 million,” Mr. Reanno said, noting that normal inventory ranges from only eight to nine million.

“If the current inventory goes down… prices will normalize and farmers will earn,” said Mr. Reaño.

According to Mr. Reaño, prices in markets currently range from P90 to P110 per kilogram due to the oversupply of chicken.

Mr. Reaño added that the basis of the price of chicken in markets should still be the farm-gate price.

“Add P40-P50 (to the farm-gate price), that will be a reasonable price for chicken,” he said.

Unlike chicken producers, Mr. Reaño said hog farmers are not under as much pressure.

Pork prices still average bout P185 per kilo, except for pork belly, which costs about P200 per kilo due to high demand.

Mr. Reaño said the DA is also trying to reduce the involvement of middlemen so that pork prices can go down further. – Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano

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