GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city government is closely monitoring the operations of poultry farms here as prices of chicken meat have continued to increase in the local markets reportedly due to the dwindling supply.
Dr. Antonio Ephrem Marin, head of the City Veterinary Office, said Monday they are working with poultry producers to sustain the delivery of chicken meat in the markets here to prevent their prices from further increasing.
Citing their monitoring, he said the prices of dressed chicken and meat cuts in the area now range from PHP170 to PHP180 per kilo, up from PHP130 to P140 per kilo late last year.
The prevailing prices, which reach PHP195 to PHP200 per kilo in other areas, are way higher than the suggested retail price of PHP146 a kilo for whole chicken that was set late last month by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 12.
Marin said the entire Mindanao, including this city, has been experiencing a supply shortage in chicken meat due to the declining production by local poultry farms.
He said the situation was mainly due to the limited arrival of replacement breeders since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in March last year.
The restrained movement triggered by the lockdowns or community quarantine and other control measures affected the delivery of the breeders from Luzon to Mindanao, he said.
“As a result, the remaining breeder farms were not able to supply enough day-old chicks to our growers,” Marin said in an interview.
The official said concerned government agencies, among them the DA, are already addressing the situation.
He said they are hoping that more replacement breeders will arrive in the coming months to replenish the stocks in poultry farms here and in other parts of Mindanao.
The city, which supplies along with South Cotabato province the bulk of the chicken requirements of Region 12 (Soccksargen), hosts three of the biggest poultry dressing plants in the area.
Marin said the area previously produced an average of 20 million dressed chicken every month, 40 to 50 percent delivered to other markets. (PNA)