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Chicken meat in relief food eyed

FROM the usual rice-sardines-noodles-sugar contents, the national government is eyeing to include chicken in the food packs distributed to the public amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Agriculture Secretary Willima Dar said he has encouraged the local government units (LGUs) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to consider this approach to help the poultry sector and at the same time ease supply glut and stabilize prices of the product.

The United Broilers Raisers Association (UBRA) whose members along with poultry raisers nationwide has appealed for government intercession as they continue to reel from weak demand that resulted in oversupply of chicken meat due to the pandemic.

“The inclusion of fresh chicken in the relief goods would hike the demand and increase the farmgate prices of broilers,” Dar said.

Earlier, the DA chief said he talked with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello who responded positively on the idea of including chicken under DOLE’s “Tulong Panghanap-Buhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers.”

After the LGUs, Dar said he will present the proposal to the DSWD to also consider the inclusion of chicken meat in their relief food packs.

The DSWD is a member of the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) group on food security that leads the sub-group on procurement, food packs and distribution.

“We need to explore new markets to prop up demand, after a great number of food establishments and restaurants have discontinued or reduced their operations,” Dar pointed out.