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Gov’t urged to focus on hog vaccination vs ASF

FOCUS on hog vaccination against African Swine Flu (ASF) and boost livestock sector’s extremely budget instead of cutting trariff on pork which will cause flashfloods of imports

This was stressed by the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (PCAFI) during a congressional hearing on rising prices of agri-commodities, insisting that price distortions and economic problems in livestock and poultry are rooted on perennial inefficiencies of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

PCAFI President Danilo V. Fausto said these inefficiencies involve lack of long and short term direction, lack of legally-mandated information systems, and highly distorted budgeting per sector.

The PCAFI claimed it is stunningly unbelievable how widely distorted DA’s budgetary treatment is to livestock and poultry.

The group further disclosed that the share in budget of the livestock and poultry sectors only amounts to around three per cent even as their revenue contributes to a substantial one-third of agricultural production.

For a long time, DA has kept the same budget policies that are distorted against livestock and poultry’s favour. Albert Einstein said it is insanity to be doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result,” Fausto said.

Also during the hearing, the PCAFI recommended the alignment of the P24 billion DA Bayanihan to livestock and poultry; getting of vaccines from Vietnam immediately to stop ASF and allocation of P80 million for rapid test kits from Central Luzon State University.

The PCAFI added that even if it comes too late after the discovery of ASF in 2019, it is better late than never.

The group also recommended a price freeze in all levels of the value chain not only on retail prices; tagging of imported meat versus local displayed in the market for consumers to identify what is imported versus local; and subsidizing the transport cost since price ceiling is below cost of meat and the bringing of pork from Visayas and Mindanao to augment pork supply in Metro Manila.

The group, however further stressed that the DA must at all times consult with the private stakeholders before major decisions are recommended and implemented relative to agricultural products.

Fausto said the current rising price problems in the sector have been an “endemic” situation that has never been solved by the government.

Budget for livestock and poultry has an average of three percent of the DA budget year in year out. That is compared to rice taking up 40.44% of DA budget for 2021. But livestock and poultry accounts for one-third of the total agriculture production,” said Fausto.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight