Poultry farmers in Batangas are in a quandary over a sharp drop in the price of eggs–from P1 per piece a week before Easter to the current P2.50–and have asked for immediate intervention for them to survive the crisis.
Batangas province produces 12-15 million eggs a day or 25 percent of the eggs supplied to Metro Manila.
In a meeting held last week, egg producers consulted the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office in the hope of finding immediate measures to help them cope with the big price drop.
It was agreed that the following measures will be adopted immediately: selective culling in farms, forced molting to prevent chicken from laying eggs and distribution in areas other than Metro Manila.
Rufina Salas, Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries chairman, said the Department of Agriculture (DA) has agreed to cover the cost of transportation to bring the supply of eggs to Visayas and Mindanao where there is less production of the staple.
But according to a farmer who was present during the meeting, the DA cannot impose regulations against free enterprise.
He said he believes there is a need to promote egg consumption locally rather than regulate its production.
“Prices are down because of the shift in demand. Prices of raw materials continue to rise due to the peso to dollar ratio. Most of the ingredients in feeds, aside from corn, are imported and there is also a shortage now in the supply of corn,” the farmer added.
The farmer who asked not to be identified said a lot of farms in Batangas have also expanded and there are a lot of new big players nationwide.
“The DA does not seem to understand that even Visayas and Mindanao are having a hard time selling eggs and there are also a lot of big farms there now. Eggs are highly perishable. Consolidation will take time. How will they store them?” he added.
Another factor that he says needs to be considered is the closure of Boracay, which is a very significant market for chicken raisers.