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mikey

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Livestock Revolution 2020:Where are we going?
« on: March 26, 2008, 11:03:10 AM »
Industry Situationer

Livestock Revolution 2020:Where are we going?

by Miko Jazmine J. Mojica
 


 

It's that horrible smell again. The Dasmariñas town proper, one of the most prosperous and urban towns in Cavite, reeks of hog manure so awful that most people hold their breath when passing by the area where hog farms are located. The foul smell is hell for non-hog raisers, but it is heaven for those who earn big bucks from the swine industry.

A study conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), “Livestock to 2020: The Next Food Revolution”, suggested that come 2020, developing countries will produce 60 percent of the world's meat and 52 percent of the world's milk. The study reasoned out that the continuing population growth, widening urbanization, and income growth in developing countries are “fueling a massive increase in the demand for food of animal origin.” Thus, it forecasts that a “Livestock Revolution” which is gradually gaining intensity particularly in developing countries could well become a means to alleviate poverty and improve the nutrition of the rural poor especially since most of them keep livestock in their homes. However, the study warned that the impact of this welcomed revolution could also be a harbinger of new problems in people's health and in the environment.

Several studies thereafter have been conducted all over the world regarding the Livestock Revolution and its implications to socio-economics, health, and the environment. Some of these will be discussed later in the article. But first, let's take a look at how the livestock industry fares in the Philippines.

The Philippine livestock industry
According to the Department of Agriculture's (DA) performance report from January to June 2006, “the livestock subsector had a 2.87 percent increment in output during the period. Its share in total agricultural production was 12.80 percent. The carabao, cattle, and goat industries did not perform well but this was offset by the gains recorded by hog at 4.17 percent and dairy at 3.15 percent. Gross value of livestock output reached P76.4 billion at current prices or 0.25 percent lower than the previous year's level.”

“The poultry subsector which shared 13.56 percent in the total agricultural production had a 1.49 percent cutback in output during the period. Except for chicken eggs which had a production increase of 4.29 percent, there was a downtrend in the production of poultry. Gross earnings from poultry production at P50.2 billion at current prices were 1.04 percent higher this year.”

The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), the statistical arm of DA, in its latest performance report on the livestock industry in the country from January to December 2005, said that except for slight decreases in the total inventory of cattle and chicken as of Jan. 1, 2006, the livestock subsectors had increased populations from last year's levels. The swine industry, which accounted for 79 percent of total livestock production, was the top performer as shown by its increased production and upward trend of prices from farmgate to wholesale and retail.

Although the production of commercial chicken decreased, native/improved chicken registered a 4.1 percent growth and had a 57 percent share of total chicken stocks. Chicken egg production also increased by 8.01 percent.

The dairy industry meanwhile registered a marked improvement as evidenced by the 5.6 percent increase in animal dairy source and 6.33 percent increase in total milk production.

The increased annual average price of carabao, goat, and cow milk was also reported. It was noted that volume and value of dairy imports decreased compared with last year's record. The duck, cattle, and goat industries remained as mediocre performers of the whole livestock industry.

The report showed that backyard farming still dominates the country's livestock industry as evidenced by its more than 70 percent share of production in most of the livestock subsectors as against commercial farming except for the chicken industry.

Global perspective
In 2002, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) submitted another report to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), “Impact of Changing Market Forces and Policies on Structural Change in the Livestock Industries of Selected Fast-Growing Developing Countries”. The report focused on case studies in four countries identified to exhibit high growth in their livestock sectors. These countries are India, Brazil, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The report stated that one of the major transformations in the booming hog sector of the Philippines is the emerging popularity of the application of “sophisticated integration of breeding, high-quality internal feed formulation, farrow-to-finish operations, and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) compatible slaughtering and processing of branded products by the very large commercial companies.”

Compared with the stable growth of smallholder production in the hog sector, the report noted the high concentration of the broiler chicken industry to “six very large, vertically-integrated companies engaged in breeding, feed formulation, contract-growing, internal and/or toll dressing consistent with HACCP procedures, and processing of branded meat products.” This was said to be affected by the rapidly growing domestic market for food-safe meat. It reported that these six integrators control the 80 percent output of the commercial broiler industry and have an effective control of the day-old-chicks market.

The report included the intensifying problem of livestock waste especially that of pig's waste.
It said that poultry manure “gets off easier since a number of traders are engaged full-time in contract buying and collection of poultry manure from Southern Luzon farms.” According to the report, a similar market for dried hog manure is not present in the Philippines but exists in other parts of Southeast Asia.

The problem of livestock waste pollution was reported to have been responded through zoning ordinances at the local government level which were only implemented by commercial farms. The technology of minimizing hog waste such as biodigesters is not yet an option for smallholders that make up the major production sector in the Philippines because it is not economically feasible to them.

The report stated that the Philippines has avoided the rigorous competition on import and export industry of livestock because of its exemptions in trade negotiations over the last two decades. It said that smallholders have benefited from this since the price of live pigs has been consistently favorable to their business. However, the report suggested that the advances in technology on livestock which smallholders could not afford could be “a prime mover of the displacement of smallholders from the livestock sector.”

The report concluded that failure to address these concerns over livestock production could defeat the opportunity for poverty reduction in rural areas that do not have access to safe products certification, regulated markets, and technology options. The report suggested four areas of policy interventions as follows: 1) formal procurement and marketing services involving purchases from smallholders so they would not be shut out of the fast growing high-value urban sector; 2) credit subsidies that favor smallholders; 3) certification of food safety or disease-free product attributes for smallholders to meet demand standards and have their product recognized in the market; and finally 4) collective action of different institutions for the preservation of the environment.

Livestock specialists from the World Bank also conducted two studies related to the Livestock Revolution. In 2001, the World Bank released a strategy for the livestock sector. Their study, “Livestock Development: Implications for Rural Poverty, the Environment, and Global Food Security” argued that “livestock can play an important role in poverty reduction, its effects on the environment can be adequately managed, and that livestock can make an important contribution to global food security provided that an appropriate policy framework is put in place. The people-focused approach of the strategy includes the following required actions: 1) develop a deeper understanding of the key aspects of pro-poor design of livestock development operations, training modules, and enhanced awareness in pro-poor livestock development strategies; and 2) mainstream sound ecological farming practices such as integration of crops and livestock, and development of markets for organic products.

Last year, the World Bank released the results of the study, “Managing the Livestock Revolution: Policy and Technology to Address the Negative Impacts of a Fast-Growing Sector” that proposed an action plan for the international community. At the global level, it advocated expanding research on improved livestock waste management and health technologies such as increasing the efficiency of feed use, and small-scale manure crop and energy recycling systems.

At the national level, the study promoted the following: 1) preparation of a national manure management plans in countries with major current or expected problems such as Brazil, China, Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and the Philippines; 2) development and implementation of regional zonal planning activities, including the development of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology; and 3) strengthening national public animal and human health surveillance systems, particularly a closer collaboration between animal and human health institutions.

Even with these well-studied strategies and action plan, the World Bank stated that, “there is no proven package of interventions yet; trial and error approaches will be needed. Still, the threats are so significant that coordination among all stakeholders involved at the global and national levels is needed.”

Philippine response to livestock revolution
What are the efforts being made in the Philippines in response to this Livestock Revolution? President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, this year, said that as part of the government's pump-priming programs, poultry production is a top priority with particular attention to the development of more infrastructure to link the produce to the market.

The country is also fortunate to be still free from the dreaded avian flu virus that has devastatingly affected the poultry industry of its several neighboring countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and China.

The DA reported as of August this year that the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) collected more than 6,000 blood samples and more than 1,800 cloacal (intestinal, reproductive, and urinary systems) swabs from native/game fowls, chickens, and ducks from 15 regions, 50 provinces, 115 municipalities and 210 barangays and the tests yielded negative results.

The chicken export industry benefitted from this status as shown by last year's record of $7 million worth of frozen and semi-processed chicken, including duck meat and eggs exported to Japan, US, Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Moreover, new export destination prospects include China, Malaysia, Angola, Mozambique, Curacao, Singapore, and Europe.

The Livestock Development Council (LDC) in the Philippines is following a National Livestock Road Map to sustain the growth of the industry. Its major implementing units include DA's BAI, National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), National Dairy Authority (NDA), Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), regional field units, and local government units (LGUs).

The road map is geared toward disease control and eradication, meat safety and quality, local dairy expansion, higher growth rate in the carabao sector, genetic improvement, safeguard on imports, and strengthening of local and international alliances and partnerships.

Furthermore, the DA-BAI has recently launched a program in collaboration with NDA and PCC that seeks to benefit smallholder livestock production and enhance environmental animal health management. According to DA, “the environmental animal health management initiative (EAHMI) funded by the Italian Government and supervised by the FAO of the United Nations, will develop capabilities in the Philippines to have a safer, cleaner and more productive animal production environment. The initiative will initially benefit smallhold livestock farmers and consumers of Nueva Ecija and Laguna.”

The promise of a bright industry is inviting but the repercussions it could bring are also very real. At present, the industry's performance is hinged on to the efforts of research institutions, private sector, and the programs and policies of the government to sustain the progress of the livestock sector. If these efforts are coordinated harmoniously perhaps the livestock revolution could be handled swiftly.

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