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by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

Tagum City - As the prices of meat and poultry products are shooting through the roof nationwide, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) is launching an LGU-led Livestock Development Program to ensure sufficient supply for Mindanao.

The Province of Davao del Norte has agreed to pioneer the MinDA Livestock Development Program with the establishment of a 500-head Cattle Fattening Feedlot.

In a meeting last night with Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib, I emphasized that the country faces a shortage of beef, pork and poultry, partly because of the disruption of the supply chain.

In the case of the hog industry, the unabated spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) has practically wiped out Mindanao's backyard hog industry with live hog prices soaring from P90 per kilo last year to as high as P220 now.

The Davao del Norte Cattle Feedlot project also received a commitment of support from former Speaker and Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez who was also briefed on the grim scenario of the beef, poultry and pork shortage in Luzon which could affect prices in Mindanao.

The Davao del Norte Cattle Feedlot Project will involve the fattening of 500 heads of locally procured cattle at any given time.

The fattening protocol will be introduced by outstanding OFW Arnel Corpuz, MinDA's livestock program consultant who spent 11 years in Australia's Wagyu Feedlots.

In addition to the locally procured Cattle, the MinDA Livestock Industry Program also aims to acquire steers for fattening and breeders from Australia to boost Mindanao's Cattle population.

The program will be tied to the Sorghum and Corn Industry Development Program pushed by MinDA.

Other Mindanao Provincial Governments will also be encouraged to set up a similar Cattle Feed Lot facility which would later be complemented with modern abattoirs for added value.

The Development Bank of the Philippines, MinDA's financing partner, will be tapped to support the LGUs' funding requirements for the project.

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