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Davao City faces chicken shortage as development crowds out poultry farms

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The price of chicken continues to rise its current cost is 135 for one whole live chicken and 145 for the chop ones. There’s a possible shortage of fruits, meat and poultry products for the coming season due to the Manila ports congestion according to an association of importers

THE BROILER chicken supply in Davao City could deteriorate as residential development begins to edge out poultry farms in districts outside the city center, possibly putting pressure on businesses selling one of the area’s signature dishes — roast chicken.

Photo by Marifi S. Jara

“Most of the land developers are going to Calinan and Tugbok; they are buying the lands around us so if they are near our poultry, we will be closed down (because of residential zoning). Even if we want to solve the deficit, we cannot because of the expansion problem,” Lalaine A. dela Victoria, president of the Davao Poultry and Egg Producers Inc., told the media.

The group is calling on the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) and the local council to re-asses zoning and conversion plans.

Ms. Dela Victoria said the association is proposing that the CPDO specify poultry farm areas in the city’s geo-map. The city council, on the other hand, could pass a resolution that would encourage socialized housing developers to pursue vertical projects to conserve on land.

Clear policies, she pointed out, should then guide property developers as well as the poultry-egg producers, who have been looking at establishing a “food corridor” in the Calinan and Tugbok areas.

“But of course we cannot do that alone, we have to get the permission of the council for that to be established. Another big problem is most of the land developers are lobbying that those areas (Calinan and Tugbo) be converted into residential areas,” she said.

Data from the Department of Agriculture-Davao show Davao City had production of 32 million birds in 2016.

Ms. Dela Victoria said a small portion of the total output is sent to Cotabato, but most are sold in local markets, where demand is still higher than supply.

Davao City’s population was about 1.5 million in 2010.

“For export, Davao City has minimal contribution. Some of our chicken goes to Cotabato province… because there is no dressing plant there so we provide our broiler chickens,” she said.

The poultry group estimates a deficit in Davao City of about 20 million birds annually by 2018.

Ms. Dela Victoria said there are about 60 poultry farmers in Davao City, 50% of whom are small growers, or those producing 10,000 to 50,000 birds a year. The other half is composed of those with a capacity of 200,000 to 300,000 birds annually.

The number of poultry farmers has not been increasing recently, she said, while the existing ones have not been expanding due to fears of being closed down when real estate developers come in. – Maya M. Padillo

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