POULTRY is one of the growing sectors in agriculture with one company projecting an increase in demand by as much as 46 percent in 2011 compared to the demand in 2007.

Even records from the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed that the poultry subsector registered a 3.46 output gain in 2009.

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While production of chicken and chicken eggs decreased by 3.21 percent and 6.33 percent, respectively, the subsector's share in total agricultural output was 14.09 percent. The gross receipts of the subsector amounted to P100.3 billion pesos at current prices, up by 11.38 percent compared to prices in 2008.

During the launch of the "virtual farm" last Tuesday, figures from San Miguel Foods Incorporated showed that the demand for chicken is pegged to reach 24.1 million in 2011 from a 16.5 million demand in 2007.

"That is a 46 percent increase in a span of four years," Vicente Lao, head of Maharlika Agro-Ventures Corporation (Maharlika), said.

Maharlika is set to manage a poultry farm that will be owned and financed by North Star Asia Holdings Corporation, wherein its stakeholders will actually be able to monitor the farm and procedures in real-time online.

Under the virtual program, Filipinos, particularly overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), will now be able to invest in a poultry farm and be able to monitor the farm in real time anywhere on the globe.

By merely logging into the Internet, investors of the projects will be able to see live feeds of the farm, updates on stocks equity, and proposed expansion programs.

"What we will be making available right now are preferred shares which will have a guarantee return of 7 percent," Lao said.

The farms will be managed by the Maharlika Agro-Venture Corp., one of the largest poultry farm managers in Southern Mindanao, and owned by North Star Asia Holdings Corp., a newly formed company for the sole purpose of handling the investments made through the virtual farm.

Also, San Miguel Foods Corporation is set to buy the poultry produce of the farms set up by North Star Asia Holdings Corporation and to be managed by the Maharlika Agro-Venture Corporation.