MANILA - Poultry farmers on Tuesday sought for aid from the government after concerns over bird flu caused the price of live chicken to drop to P10 per head.
This has resulted in daily losses of P179 million, said Philippine Poultry Integrated Alliance president Jinn So. Live chicken used to sell for P80 to P85 each at farm gates, he said.
The government has earmarked in P48 million in assistance for affected farmers in Pampanga, while another P33.5 million has been allotted for Nueva Ecija farmers.
Affected farmers can avail of P5,000 cash aid and borrow as much as P20,000 each, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol earlier said in an interview on DZMM.
But the Department of Agriculture may seek more aid from the Department of Social Welfare and Development to help poultry farmers recover from their losses.
Piñol has also lifted the ban on on the shipment of poultry products from Luzon to other parts of the country as long as the produce is not from bird flu-hit farms.
"Inassure ako na okay na sa biosecurity measures. We also have to listen to the pleading of the farmers," he said.
(I was assured that biosecurity measures are okay. We also have to listen to the pleading of the farmers.)
Piñol said the government was looking for ways to help poultry farmers convert chicken dung into fertilizer while poultry farms in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija remain inoperable due to a 90-day quarantine.
- with reports from Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News.