Aquino woos agri investors

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Thursday encouraged livestock industry stakeholders to support opportunities in agribusiness in the Philippines.

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“It is only through the help of the stakeholders in this room that we can sustain the growth of this industry, as well as the quality of our livestock and poultry,” Aquino told participants to the Livestock Philippines 2015 Expo and Conference.

“This is why I encourage all of you to make the most of this opportunity: to continue sharing your ideas and best practices towards creating a livestock industry, and consequently, a Philippines that we can be proud to bequeath to future generations,” he added.

More than 200 brands of meat products from 18 countries joined the three-day event hosted by the Department of Agriculture and its attached agencies, the Bureau of Animal Industry, and the National Meat Inspection Service.

In his speech, Aquino boasted of how the Philippines has been making great strides in food safety.

He said his administration managed to address threats to the livestock industry, particularly animal diseases.

“As you know, the Philippines has been performing very well in terms of food safety. Our country has been free from Avian Flu since 2005, and of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) since 2010. These achievements alone make us eligible to export meat,” the President said.

“It is really a blessing to be in this country that we don’t have to worry about the safety of the food we eat in terms of its quality,” he added.

Aquino also shared how the Philippines recently attained “the highest level of recognition as a country free from FMD without vaccination, which further increases our competitiveness.”

“Only four Asean countries, the Philippines included, can boast of this recognition. The goal now is not only to maintain these standards, but also to ensure that our livestock sector continues to grow,” he said.

Aquino said the Department of Agriculture is also set to open this month a P120-million poultry dressing plant in Tarlac and a P150-million slaughter house in Batangas.

“Both of these projects are expected to be completed within the year,” he said.

Livestock Philippines 2015 is the first Asean Food Conference in connection with the recently implemented ASEAN Economic Cooperation (AEC).

Delegates from 10 Asean member states are expected to discuss challenges and opportunities of the AEC.

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