PH to export cattle feed to South Korea

By Alladin S. Diega, BusinessMirror

Posted at Sep 05 2014 09:02 AM | Updated as of Sep 05 2014 05:04 PM

MANILA - The Philippines is set to export a known feedstuff for cattle called total mixed ration (TMR) to South Korea early next year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced on Thursday.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), “the total mixed ration [method] is the practice of weighing and blending all feedstuffs into a complete ration, which provides adequate nourishment to meet the needs of dairy cows.”

The FAO said the mixed feedstuff contains the required level of nutrients needed by livestock: energy, protein, minerals and vitamins.

A Filipino company in Alaminos, Laguna, is currently processing TMR for export to South Korea in January next year, DA Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Edilberto de Luna told reporters.

According to de Luna, the local TMR is composed of the following: corn silage, rice hay, bagasse, sugar and pineapple toppings.

Local feed processing company Benacorn Corp. has invested considerably for the production of TMR, he added.

De Luna said Benacorn is also exporting this month to Busan, Korea, 10,000 metric tons (MT) of corn silage, a form of animal feed composed of corn grain and corn plant.

According to him, Busan requires 30,000 MT of corn silage a month.

De Luna added that Bayambang, Pangasinan, and Davao City are also exporting some 2,000 MT each of the silage to South Korea this month.

Local demand for the corn-based animal feed is also growing as domestic livestock industry is on the rise, he explained.

The Philippines has secured in June a number of trade commitments and agreements with South Korean businesses that the government is expecting to help boost income and livelihood opportunities in the local agro-fishery industries.

The DA has announced that month one partnership on corn and other animal feedstock with agriculture-based businesses in South Korea.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said his department and its counterpart agencies in South Korea also agreed to expand technical cooperation on food safety and sustainable food-production systems.

The Philippines can now look forward to additional exports of corn silage and other animal feedstock with the signing of a memorandum of understanding, for better business efficiency and friendly relations, between South Korea’s Hapchon Livestock Cooperative Union and Filipino groups Benacorn and Ploughshares Inc., a statement quoted Alcala as saying.

Hapchon is the South Korean firm that bought the Philippines’s first-ever export of corn silage between May and December last year.

De Luna, who is currently the National Rice Program and National Corn Program head, also said the private sector has also expressed willingness and actual readiness to export corn grains to Asean countries.

De Luna said they asked the Philippine Maize Federation Inc. (PhilMaize) to apply for a certification on corn surplus from the National Food Authority.

The certification is a requirement under the government’s food security program in which corn and rice are main staples. The clearance will allow PhilMaize to export products by members of the corn industry organization.

According to de Luna, the local industry requirement for corn is 5.3 million metric tons (MMT) and the expected production for this year is around 5.4 MMT, excluding postharvest losses.

He said the losses can be easily augmented by cassava production, which is a component of local feed formulation.

Current target production for cassava for this year is 2.6 MMT “but the actual feed requirement is only 600,000 MT as corn equivalent,” de Luna said.

He said the private sector is planning to export up to 500,000 MT of corn but added that “there are considerations to be made, considering that the world market for corn currently is P14 to P15 per kilo, which is only a breakeven price.”

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