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Philippines struggle to curb pork imports

The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) concludes that importation of pork products must continue as domestic production fails to meet demand.

In a meeting last week with hog industry leaders, Agriculture assistant Secretary Salvador Salacup, along with Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) director Davinio Catbagan, citing official figures, showed that meat processors would have to continue importing part of their requirements as domestic production had dropped.

Domestic pork production decreased in 2007 and 2008 due to diseases but demand continued to rise.

The DA officials assured local hog industry leaders that whatever pork comes in, those do not compete with pork sold in retail markets. Pork imports, the DA officials explained, accounted for only 6.86% of the total pork supply in the country in 2008.

Hog industry leaders were told that the slight increase in pork imports last year only made up for the drop in domestic production.

Of the total amount of pork imports for 2008, 72.558 million kilos were deboned pork, fats, offal, rind and skin used to make hotdogs and other processed meats.

While the DA could not agree to stop pork imports, the DA indicated that it would implement more programs to improve the productivity and efficiency of the local hog sector.

Editor PigProgress

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