The local animal feeds industry, which is still heavily reliant on imports, needs more feedmills to fill the supply shortfall and lower feed prices in Visayas and Mindanao where mills are few, according the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).
Rise in feed prices has traditionally caused meat prices to rise.
Angel Mateo, officer-in-charge of the Animal Feeds Standard Division of BAI said that 75 percent of country’s animal feed requirement are still imported.
The Philippines could produce enough corn for use as feed additive but the country imports other additives such as fish meal, protein additives for hog feeds, and feedwheat.
Mateo noted that there are about 1,730 feed manufacturers in the country, most of which are concentrated in Central Luzon and the National Capital Region (NCR).
Most of the feed millers in NCR produce commercial feeds.
He said that because of the concentration of feedmills in these areas, feed prices are naturally higher in Visayas and Mindanao because of transport costs.
"There is a need for more feedmills in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) and ARMM," said Mateo.
"ARMM needs more investments for the production of halal feed or those with no pork component like lard."
Mateo noted that investments in the feed industry are hindered by the availability of land because of increased land conversion.
The Department of Agriculture has been encouraging investments in the animal feed sector to maintain stability in meat prices and lessen imports.
It is hosting from Aug. 7 to 9 the 2013 Livestock Expo at SMX Convention Center in Pasay to educate players in the livestock industry on the newest developments in animal health and nutrition, closed housing systems, centralized slaughter houses, meat processing and packaging technologies.
The event will also serve as a springboard for networking and exploring business and investment opportunities.
The livestock subsector, which contributed 15.3 percent to the total agricultural output in the first quarter of the year, recorded a modest growth of 0.3 percent grossing at P54.34 billion.
The hog industry grew by 0.36 percent, valued at P44.87 billion at current prices.