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Thursday, May 23, 2024

A step toward food security

SMC has always been a trailblazer in helping raise our country’s competitiveness as it continues to show us the way forward

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The affordability of chicken meat over other meat sourced from animals has contributed to the increase in its demand.

According to the Philippine Poultry Broiler Industry Roadmap 2022-2040, the chicken broiler (and egg production) industry is the most progressive animal enterprise in the Philippines today.

The Roadmap also stated that in the past two decades, the volume of production doubled from around a million metric tons in 2000 to almost 2 MMT in 2020.

The volume of production was at 1.93 MMT in 2019 while the gross value of chicken production at current prices was P173.94 billion in earnings and P179.21 billion in receipts.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority in its Special Release in August 2023 on Chicken Situation Report for April to June 2023 reported the total chicken inventory reached 200.21 million birds as of June 30, 2023.

This was 2.8 percent higher than 194.71 million birds recorded in the same period last year.

Of the total chicken inventory, native/improved chicken accounted for 43.3 percent, followed by broiler chicken with 34.5 percent share, and layer chicken with 22.2 percent share.

Broiler chicken refers to chicken bred and raised specifically for meat production.

While the country produces chicken for consumption, broiler imports grew over the past years. According to the Roadmap, from 2014 to 2019, the Philippines imported more chicken meat than Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Coincidentally, as the country is celebrating National Livestock and Poultry Month this October to acknowledge the efforts of partner stakeholders in the livestock and poultry industry, San Miguel Corporation, through its subsidiary San Miguel Foods, Inc. inaugurated the Magnolia Mega Farm in the municipality of Hagonoy, Davao del Sur recently.

The mega farm is first among 11 mega farms that SMC intends to build throughout the country under the San Miguel Foods’ Mega Farm Projects.

“We proudly inaugurate our Magnolia Poultry Farm in Davao del Sur, the largest in the Philippines and the first of mega farms that we will build across the country,” SMC President and CEO Ramon S. Ang said in his message.

“This facility will enable us to contribute to the country’s food security by modernizing poultry production, supporting local communities, and promoting ethical and sustainable farming practices,” he added.

San Miguel Foods, Inc. is one of the integrators in the country with its chicken products bearing the Magnolia brand.

Integrators are poultry companies or production chains involved in all production aspects in the poultry value chain right from chicken breeding to feed manufacturing to poultry growing, processing and marketing.

Guest of honor at the inauguration was President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who also led the unveiling of the San Miguel Foods marker in the facility.

In his speech, the President thanked SMC for heeding the call for investments in the agricultural sector.

The President recalled that in his SONA he spoke about the crucial role of investments in infrastructure and in the capacity of the Filipino people in driving the nation and the economy forward.

“We put a high premium on investments in agriculture, as it is the key to combating hunger and poverty, and achieving our goal of food sufficiency and security across the country,” he emphasized during the mega farm inauguration.

The mega-farm is aligned with the government’s program to achieve food security.

Addressing SMC led by RSA, Marcos Jr. said: “You have become a reliable partner of the government through your investments in food, in beverages, infrastructure, and other sectors, which align perfectly with this administration’s socioeconomic agenda. Thank you as well for investing here in Mindanao.”

The poultry farm will house 28 world-class climate-controlled farmhouses to ensure optimal conditions for poultry-raising and production.

About 80 million chickens will be produced yearly to address increasing demands for poultry products.

Aside from bio-security measures, the mega farm features an efficient waste management system and modernized feeding and watering system.

It will also utilize solar power energy. In place are rainwater harvesting systems.

Raw materials that will be needed in the mega farm will be sourced locally to benefit local businesses.

It is also expected to provide employment to more than 1,000 Filipinos and open opportunities to MSMEs and residents of Hagonoy and nearby areas.

Ensuring higher productivity and synergizing agro industry is a step toward modernizing agriculture.

The Magnolia Mega-Farm is a showcase that world-class mega farms are viable in the country.

SMC has always been a trailblazer in helping raise our country’s competitiveness as it continues to show us the way forward.

(The author is president and executive director of the Million Trees Foundation Inc., a non-profit group advocating tree planting and watershed protection. He is also a book writer and publisher of biographical and coffee-table books.)


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