THE opening of South Korea to the entry of agricultural products from the Philippines is seen as big opportunity for animal raisers in Negros Occidental.

Dr. Renante Decena, head of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), on Wednesday said the province is capable of supplying markets in South Korea with the in-demand quality dressed chicken.

Decena said the province currently has excess in broilers since local growers are technically and financially capable of producing the commodity.

In terms of capacity, the province’s current supply can still last for three months given a production period of only 28 day.

“There are poultry farms in the province which can produce at least 50,000 heads,” Decena said, adding that chicken production has hugely contributed to the strong local poultry sector.

PVO records showed that Negros Occidental produces an average of 16 million heads of broiler and free-range chicken for meat purposes yearly.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, in his Facebook post on Wednesday, said the government of South Korea has already allowed the entry of Philippine dressed chicken and other commodities in their country.

Provided, these products are top quality and priced fairly to be competitive with those coming from other countries, he also said.

On Wednesday, Piñol met with South Korean Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Kim Jae-soo during the bilateral talks on agriculture and food in Seoul.

“Following the outbreak of new strains of avian influenza or bird flu, the South Korean government has ordered the culling of about 30,000 heads of chicken heads causing a shortage in its supply as well as of eggs and ducks,” Piñol said.

Dressed chicken among supermarkets in South Korea now costs about P250 per kilogram, he said.

In Negros Occidental, some local poultry growers have already production allocations for export.

Decena said the province has well-trained growers and their practices, housing, and other poultry facilities are already competitive thus, Negros Occidental is really capable of penetrating new markets like South Korea.

“The opening of the new market is also a challenge for the local raisers to continuously improve with their production by upgrading their facilities,” he added.