MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday stressed the “urgent need” to revitalize the livestock and poultry industries in pursuit of food security and global competitiveness.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the Livestock and Aquaculture Philippines 2023 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, Marcos vowed to address the challenges besetting the two sectors and forge partnerships for their development.
“The sector not only puts food on the table for millions of Filipinos, it also provides a means of livelihood for countless farmers and other ancillary service providers,” Marcos said.
Marcos said he intends to streamline the value chain systems, ease public access to local produce, and cushion the impact of food inflation on farmers and consumers.
He said concerned government agencies and stakeholders should engage in “productive” dialogue and share “best” ideas, practices, and technologies to advance the poultry and livestock industries.
Marcos ensured that his administration would implement “data and science-based” policies and programs to address the issues faced by the livestock and poultry sectors.
“We identify the shortcoming that we have and acknowledge that there is much work to do. We at the DA (Department of Agriculture) shall continue to forge partnerships with the academe and private sector to devise solutions to eradicate these diseases that continue to wreak havoc on our livestock and poultry sub-sectors,” he added.
“It (is) only through cooperation such as this that we can realize our dreams of progressively expanding and modernizing the poultry and livestock industries in the Philippines,” Marcos said.
Addressing ASF, avian flu
Marcos also emphasized the importance of detecting and preventing the spread of African swine fever (ASF) and avian influenza.
He noted that the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry has completed Phase 1 of the safety and efficacy trials for the ASF vaccines.
“The Bureau of Animal Industry has found to produce sufficient antibodies and to be safe for use. And as it stands, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is on track to issue a certificate of product registration for these vaccines, while Phase 2 trials are underway,” Marcos said.
While the latest development gives “great hope” to the country, Marcos said his administration will not be complacent amid the researchers’ warning on the use of the vaccine.
“The vaccine is 80 percent effective. There is still 20 percent that we need to look out for very carefully. Don’t underestimate or downgrade the importance and the big advantage that the vaccines bring us but nonetheless there is still a danger and it is something that we need to look out for,” Marcos said.
The President noted that there are currently over 13,000 members of some 430 farmer cooperatives and associations and an estimated 27,500 individual farmers that benefited from the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE) Program.
He added that the government is making progress in the procurement of the avian influenza vaccines, noting that the guidelines for the administration of the vials are being finalized.
Marcos lauded the DA and Informa Markets Asia for launching the Livestock Philippines 2023, an international trade fair for innovative production and processing of poultry and livestock.
He expressed optimism that the event would promote the use of new technologies, techniques and knowledge that could help boost the farmers’ productivity and income.
“Let us make the most of the knowledge and tools made available at this trade fair so that we can establish a more food secure, sustainable, and resilience Philippines in the years ahead,” Marcos said.
“Through free training and other capacity building incentives, we hope to empower our farmers, our fisherfolk and other stakeholders to realize their full potential and play an integral part in building the livestock industry back up,” he added.
Organized by Informa Markets, Livestock Philippines 2023 is a three-day event from July 5 to 7 that aims to gather around 300 local and international exhibitors from over 20 countries.
With this year’s theme, ‘Ecosystem of Livestock and Poultry Production on Food Security, Safety, and Sustainability,’ the trade fair serves as a one-stop-shop to source innovative products from prominent and key industry players.
The event also provides free access to various technical seminars, conferences and other activities that showcase market trends, news, research and the latest industry developments.
The trade fair also coincides with Aquaculture Philippines 2023, an international expo focused on aquaculture nutrition and health production. It showcases the latest innovations in aquaculture and provides a platform for discussions that cater to the entire value chain in aquaculture, from production to processing. (PNA)