Chicken, vegetable prices remain elevated, DA says
Chicken and vegetable prices have remained stubbornly elevated, adding to the woes of the Department of Agriculture (DA) that has its hands full reining in elevated pork prices in Metro Manila public markets.
Based on the daily price monitoring reports of the DA, chicken is still being sold at a high of P190 a kilogram, well over the government-imposed price ceiling of P160 a kilo.
Similarly, prices of vegetables have yet to return to their prepandemic levels as farmers are still struggling to recover from the series of typhoons that devastated farmlands during the latter part of last year.
United Raisers Broilers Association president Bong Inciong said production costs of poultry, especially the price for day-old chicks, had risen by a whopping 233 percent from last year.
Wholesale prices of dressed chicken, in turn, are now ranging between P128 and P150 a kilo from P96 to P100 this time last year.
Economists also pointed out that more Filipinos are now turning to chicken to evade the high prices of pork currently being sold at P260 to P350 a kilo.
The increased demand for poultry is likewise pushing production costs further.
Ramp up budget support
Meanwhile, Agriculture Undersecretary Kristine Evangelista said vegetable prices were expected to stabilize next month when the harvest season begins. For now, the agency has been facilitating the shipments of vegetables from provinces where there is a surplus to fill in the demand in the metropolis.
The University of the Philippines Los Baños recently published a position paper calling on the DA to ramp up budgetary support for other sectors in agriculture aside from rice to even the playing field for the production and sale of pork, chicken, and vegetables.
“Most of the government support is still titled in favor of rice. This is understandable given the importance of rice as a staple and the number of farmers engaged in rice production,” it said.
“However, there is a need to review and rationalize the support given to various players in the agriculture sector so that growth sectors such as livestock and poultry producers need not be penalized but are also supported to grow further,” it added.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.