Import more to address pork shortage — DA

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AMID scarcity of pork meat products in the market, the government is seriously considering the idea of increasing the minimum allowed volume of pork imports this year to augment domestic supply due to the constraints brought by the African swine fever (ASF).

In a press briefing in Malacañang, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that importing pork from other countries will prevent an imminent pork supply deficit of almost 400,000 metric tons (MT) this year.

“Itong projected pork supply situation for 2021, ng supply lang dito po sa bansa to include iyong production natin plus beginning stock ay 1.2 million MT to 1.9 million MT,” Dar said.

“Some sectors would give us 1.3 [million MT], iyon ang supply. Ang demand po ay 1.6 plus million metric tons. So may potential deficit ka na almost 400,000 metric tons. So iyon po, mayroon tayo talagang kakulangan within the year so kailangan po ito ay supply augmentation ang tawag,” he said.

As such, Dar said the minimum access volume (MAV) advisory council endorsed increasing the MAV for pork from the current 54,000 MT to 388,790 MT.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier approved plans to study the possibility of hiking the country’s pork imports to boost domestic supply.

The MAV advisory council’s endorsed increase in allowed pork import volume is more than the DA’s plan to triple the current MAV.

Minimum access volume refers to the volume of a specific agricultural commodity that may be imported with a lower tariff. This is a commitment of the Philippines to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to facilitate trade between countries.

Apart from increasing the MAV, Dar said there is also a recommendation to allow hog raisers to import pork.

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