DA mulls setting up layer breeder, hatchery in region

THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture is negotiating with airline companies to address the issue on the importation of day-old pullets from Luzon to Mindanao.

“As you requested, we are negotiating with our airlines on the reduction of transport costs and better airline facilities of day-old chicks from Manila to their market destinations in Mindanao,” said Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala during the Davao Agriculture Trade Expo last week at SMX Davao Convention Center.

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PROSPECTIVE buyers check some of the latest equipment in agriculture displayed during the three-day Davao Trade Expo 2015, September 25-27 at SMX Convention, Lanang. BING GONZALES

Alcala was referring to the request of the poultry sector to look into the difficulty in procurement of day-old pullets.

The Southern Philippines Egg Producers Association (SPEPA), which was importing day-old pullets from Luzon via plane, earlier reported to the city government that there was a significant number of deaths of chicks following the lack of ventilation in the aircraft.

“Production of eggs may decrease in the succeeding months because of this situation,” said SPEPA president Alvin Teves.

The region is estimated to produce 1.5 million eggs a day.

“We do not know until when the airline could provide such service and so we are looking into the possibility of having our own layer breeder and hatchery that will serve as long term solution and would set Davao Region independent from large producers from Luzon,” said Councilor Marissa Salvador-Abella, chair of the committee on food and agriculture.

At present, Abella said there was only one aircraft that transports day-old pullets a day. She said these day-old chicks “produce table eggs being consumed by thousands of Davaoeños daily.”

SPEPA is also coordinating with the city to look for partners on the establishment of hatchery and layer breeder. The establishment of hatchery alone will need a budget of P20 million, which will cover the construction of incubator and hatcher facility and land acquisition.

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