• Country starts export of poultry to Japan

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    The Philippines has started exports of poultry products to Japan, further boosting the country’s distinction as “reliable source of safe and quality” agricultural products, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Thursday.

    Citing reports from DA-Regional Field Unit 10, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that Misamis Oriental-based SMFI Maharlika Marine Ventures has made its first shipment of 4,856 kilos, or 4.8 metric tons of fresh cut chickens to Japan in December 2013.

    Two weeks later, the company shipped 11,000 kilos, or 11 metric tons of whole Peking
    duck.

    “More shipments of both products are expected this year,” Alcala said, banking on Northern Mindanao being the “export champion” of agricultural commodities.

    Northern Mindanao is popular among foreign markets for its fruit exports, particularly pineapples and bananas.

    “It is a badge of excellence that we, the government and the private sector, should use to fullest for the benefit of our stakeholders, notably the smallholder ones,” Alcala said.

    To recall, the DA has been aggressively expanding export markets for Filipino poultry and livestock products, and took advantage of the country’s status as free from major animal diseases.

    The Philippines remains among the very few country in the world free from foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza or bird flu.

    “The bigger goal is to further shrink the country’s trade deficit, which went down by 70 percent in the first half of last year, thanks to faster growth in exports, coupled with a slowdown in imports,” Alcala said.

    To recall, the Philippines successfully cracked South Korea’s $300-million fresh frozen chicken market, after the Korean Quarantine Inspection Agency granted Bulacan-based Bounty Fresh Food Inc. the go-signal for the export of fresh chicken products.

    That development propelled the Philippines to become the first and only Asian country to export poultry products to South Korea.

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