Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has asked Agriculture Secretary William Dar to reverse the move of the Bureau of Animal Industry to import poultry, saying it will have a negative impact on the local raisers.
The governor said he is one with the poultry raisers in opposing the move, as he suggested that instead of promoting importation, “we should support local and buy local.”
He said the province has over 1,000 metric tons of surplus chicken annually.
However, due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, the local poultry raisers have sustained tremendous losses due to low demand for poultry products as restaurants and eateries were closed and are just starting to open and recover, the governor said.
Earlier, the BAI requested the local poultry raisers to limit their production to give way to imports, amid the growers’ appeal to suspend importation to allow the industry to recover from the effects of the Covid pandemic.
Lacson said this request is “bizarre” because, instead of developing the local livestock industry, the BAI is developing the livestock industry of other countries.
“There is no other consequence that can result from this except that it will further aggravate the losses suffered by our poultry raisers,” he added.
Former governors Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Rafael Coscolluela, local farmers and agripreneurs also earlier signed a statement initiated by the AgribizKapehan Negros to call on the government to go slow on food imports and support the Filipino farmers.*
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