Mindanao agribiz firms can compete in export market

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Friday, August 15, 2014


MINDANAO-based agribusiness companies engaged in livestock and poultry have huge potential in the export market, agriculture officials said.

Department of Agriculture (DA) livestock Asst. Secretary Dr. Davinio P. Catbagan, in a press conference at the Goat and Sheep Techno Forum and Agri-trade Fair, said one proof of Mindanao's potential is that it's the first island in the Philippines to be declared as foot and mouth disease free.

"This goes to show that there is no barrier when exporting livestock products. The livestock products are able to penetrate foreign markets provided that we will also be able to meet the requirements," he said.

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Catbagan also pointed out that even though there has been a shift of the path of typhoons in recent years, there are still less typhoons hitting the island as compared to the Luzon and the Visayas.

"This gives Mindanao the opportunity to develop the livestock and poultry industry," he said.

Catbagan said there is a demand for beef in Brunei Darussalam, chicken in Japan, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Korea and Middle East, and a demand for hog in a Christian community in Abu Dhabi.

However, Catbagan pointed out that there are still issues and problems that need to be addressed for the indsutry to develop fully.

One of the problems they are looking into is logistics. Catbagan said, for example, before there is a active transportation of poultry products to Luzon however nowadays there is very little transportation due to issues when it comes to shipping.

He also said there is also a need to reduce the costs of livestock and poultry for them to be able to compete with their counterparts.

"We need to be efficient because if the government has assisted in addressing the hindrances when it comes to trading...the business sector should also do their part by finding ways to reduce their costs to be able to be competitive," Catbagan said.

DA undersecretary for operations Jose C. Reaño, said there is also a need to establish triple A accredited slaughter houses in order to give the industry a stronger edge.

Catbagan said they at the government are already looking into these issues and concerns.

"Malaki talagang area naito (Mindanao) for livestock and poultry," Reaño said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 15, 2014.

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