SUN STAR DADAO
PHILLIPINES, MINDANAO: livestock and poultry raisers will urge the National Government to lower the importation costs of feed inputs in order to increase the productivity and profitability of the sector.
The resolution is among those to be tackled during the 6th Mindanao Food Congress.
Organized by the Mindanao Business Council (MBC), MFC aims to provide locals engaged in agribusiness with a venue where they can air their concerns.
The livestock and poultry sectors are among the strongest agricultural sectors in Mindanao because these are certified to be free from foot and mouth disease, MBC chair Sebastian Angliongto said.
The animal raisers, however, are having difficulty in the supply requirement for feeds, particularly corn products for poultry and soybean meal for hogs, as there is a projected shortfall of about 1.8 million metric tons in corn despite the volume of corn production reported last year.
This situation, according to the growers, is worsened by the unavailability of low-cost imported feed requirements with the 35 percent tariff imposed on importations covered by the minimum access volume (MAV). Outside the MAV, a 50 percent tariff is imposed.
The recent decision of the Department of Finance (DOF) to reject duty-free importation of feed inputs for feed millers proved to be a setback for the raisers.
They said the government must consider increasing the country's corn yields to significant levels to sustain their needs instead of focusing on tariff protections.
Besieged by these concerns, the raisers urge the National Government to undertake several policy initiatives to address this problem.