P1.3B project of Thai unit in PH gets perks

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MANILA, Philippines—The Board of Investments (BoI) has granted incentives to Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippines Corp., the local arm of a Thailand conglomerate, for its P1.352-billion hog raising project in the country.

“We see a steady increase of investments from foreign investors in strategic sectors like agribusiness. This trend helps balance our investment portfolio, increase opportunities in rural areas, and strengthen food security,” Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. said in a statement.

CP Foods’ investments will be infused into three swine farms that are expected to start commercial operations by 2013. One swine farm, which will be located at Floridablanca, Pampanga, will be used for the production of parent stocks. The two others—both in Concepcion, Tarlac—will be used for the production of breeder stocks and swine.

The company’s parent stock capacity will be 25,453 heads and for slaughter hogs, 3,647 metric tons.

According to the BoI, CP Food plans to source its primary inputs such as feeds, including corn, soybean and fish meal from both local and foreign suppliers.

CP Foods is a wholly owned subsidiary of Thailand’s CP foods PCL, which already has existing business operations in the Philippines, involving the production and marketing of prawn and fish fries.

Agriculture policy expert Roland Dy, in a recent dialogue with the Department of Trade and Industry, said that the growth in the country’s agriculture sector would likely be driven by the rising income and wealth in most Asian countries, transformation in logistics and supply chain management, technology advancements and cross-border investments.

Agriculture or agribusiness is among the industries listed in the Investment Priorities Plan and has been identified by the DTI as one of the sectors for industry development. With a large constituency composed of small shareholders and farmers, investments in this area will help increase our farmers’ incomes and help reduce poverty,” Cristobal added.—Amy R. Remo

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