Politics

Feed millers bat for corn industry modernization

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REUTERS

THE Philippine Association of Feed Millers, Inc. (PAFMI) said the government needs to modernize the corn industry in light of increasing demand for animal feed.

“A national corn development program that encompasses the whole value chain starting from the farm until the produce reaches the market and industrial users will allow the country to reduce its dependence on imports,” PAFMI said in a statement on Tuesday.

The group said it welcomes the Department of Agriculture’s Corn Production Enhancement Project, which has a yield improvement target of 3% a year.

PAFMI, composed of over 30 feed millers, said: “Corn is an integral ingredient in the manufacture of feed for the livestock and poultry industry,” adding that corn imports have risen over the last decade, crowding out domestic corn from the market.

Last month, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed Executive Order No. 10, extending lower tariffs on pork, rice, corn and coal until Dec. 31.

The import dependency rate “needs to be substantially trimmed to single digits to insulate the country from the adverse effects of any (supply disruptions),” which “leaves the country vulnerable to global supply imbalances,” PAFMI said.

The association cited a 2022-2023 corn supply outlook issued by the National Corn Program, indicating that domestic production is expected to account for 57% of the country’s needs.

PAFMI said that a “comprehensive long-term corn development program” needs to modernize farming practices and develop harvest and post-harvest infrastructure.

This year, PAFMI said the Agriculture department is estimating domestic corn output to hit 7.56 million metric tons (MMT), of which 6.35 MMT is expected to be used in animal feed. — Ashley Erika O. Jose