MANILA (Mabuhay) — Consumers can expect prices of dressed chicken to stabilize by September or October once the supply of poultry returns to normal levels, the Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.
Stakeholders in the poultry industry have assured government that the supply of chicken will normalize by the last quarter of 2014, DA Secretary Proceso Alcala told lawmakers during the budget briefing at the House of Representatives.
Agriculture Undersecretary for Livestock Jose Reaño noted the tight supply of chicken meat was an offshoot of the destruction of farm-to-market roads caused by Typhoon Glenda, which disrupted the distribution chain.
Poultry growers in Region 4A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) were unable to fill the demands of wholesale retailers in Metro Manila after the typhoon because of the damaged roads and farms.
Region 3 is the primary source of chicken meat in the Philippines while Region 4A ranks second. It takes an average of 28 to 31 days before poultry can be harvested.
“[As a result], the suki of the supplier now have nothing to sell. Some of the retailers resorted to buying their chicken meat supply from supermarkets, where the price ranges from P135 to P139, then sell these at a higher price between P150 and P170,” he said.
As of Tuesday, the prevailing market price of dressed chicken at the Commonwealth Market is P150 per kilo. According to Agriculture and Traded and Industry officials, the price ranges are still considered acceptable since consumers may haggle to as low as P140 per kilo.
Reaño said the situation in poultry farms is expected to normalize in 45 days, with breeders able to deliver again to retailers.
He said the Agriculture Department has come up with a contingency plan to keep the prices of chicken stable should a typhoon as strong as Glenda strike again. (MNS)