February 25, 2024

Local food producers have urged the National Economic and Development Authority to establish in 2024 a long-delayed agricultural statistics database that will be available to all stakeholders online.

Elias Jose Inciong, president of the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA), said having easy access to crucial information will guide poultry farm managers in setting production targets that accurately reflect prevailing consumer demand.

He partially attributed the current oversupply in chicken meat to uninformed decision-making by local growers and importers.

“Poultry farms produced aggressively in anticipation of higher demand during the holidays. Importation of frozen chicken was just as aggressive for the same reason. But the expected high demand did not materialize resulting in the oversupply of chicken we are seeing today,” Inciong said.

He said the glut in chicken meat has caused farm gate prices to drop to levels where poultry farmers are hardly breaking even with their investments.

Inciong said ha-ving a digital repository of agriculture data will help both entrepreneurs and government policy-makers make better decisions, drawn from the same vetted body of information.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. underscored the importance of digitalization in the improvement of government services during his State of the Nation address in July.

Meanwhile, the Department of Budget and Management highlighted the need to embrace digitalization with the allocation of P38.75 billion in the 2024 budget, representing a 61 percent increase from its P24.93B funding this year.

With a digitalization budget of over P2B in 2024, NEDA is among the 10 government agencies with the highest allocations for the program. – PNA