A P5-BILLION national budget for 2018 is being proposed by the Department of Agriculture especially for the development of the poultry and livestock industry, a Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) official said.

At the sidelines of the Davao Agri Trade Expo 2017 opening program on Thursday, September 21, BAI assistant secretary Enrico Garzon said if approved, the budget will be used for the improvement of the poultry and livestock industries including that of the dairy industry and the post-harvest facilities such as slaughterhouses.

"For small municipalities, we will provide them with small-scale slaughterhouses worth P3 million each. We will also provide help for triple A slaughterhouses, say for example in Davao, we proposed P80 million for New Calinan slaughterhouse," Garzon said.

He also said the government supports the backyard growers of the livestock industry adding that a continuous information dissemination and education is provided for the farmers especially on topics on biosecurity and proper vaccinations.

Garzon also expressed relief on the lesser cases, if not termination, of the pork smuggling in the country as the backyard growers are the ones primarily affected of these.

"Without the smuggling now, it is very beneficial to our backyard growers. If there is an oversupply of pork made by smuggling, the tendency is for the price to go down. So the backyard raisers will really be affected by that," Garzon said.