The Department of Agriculture said today it will post the farm-gate prices of chicken and hogs in markets so that consumers will know if the said commodities are being sold at reasonable prices.

Agriculture Undersecretary for Livestock Jose Reaño said the DA wants the consumers to know their rights so that they can demand and question retailers who are selling chicken and pork at exorbitant prices.

“Ang mga nagde-demand na consumer, maghahanap ng iba yan, kapag nakita nilang inaabuso din sila ng binibilhan nila, hahanap yan ng mas mura,” Reaño said.

He added, the move will also help the poultry raisers who are losing money as of now because of the over-supply of chicken.

Reaño said Metro Manila consumes around 25 to 30 million chickens per month, and based on the inventory in cold storage plants, there is a supply glut.

“Last week, we have an inventory of 20 million.  What is normal is eight to nine million. Ngayon kung ito bumaba, magandang indication ito na nagsisimula nang mag-normalize at kumita na ang mga farmers,” he said.

According to Reaño, chicken prices in markets today range from P90 to P105, maximum of P110 per kilo due to the huge supply of chicken.

He added, these prices are abnormal, and this is because chicken producers need to sell their produce.

Reaño added, the basis of the price of chicken in markets should still be the farm-gate price.

“Based on the gate price, adds P40-P50, that will be a reasonable price for chicken,” Reaño said.

The Undersecretary said that the DA intends to post the daily or every other day gate prices of chicken in markets with the help of the DTI.

Reaño lamented the fact that some retailers still take advantage of the situation when government, the chicken producers and everybody in the poultry should be helping each other.

”Kung iyan ay ibinebenta nila ng mahal, imbes na maraming bilhin ang tao, kumakaunti.  Kailangan maraming bilhin ang tao para makatulong naman sila sa producer,” he explained.

Farm gate prices of chicken today average P50.  The costliest is P54 while the cheapest is P45.  Big integrators sell for as low as P41.

According to Reaño hog farmers are not that pressured because pork prices still range around P185 except for liempo which often cost P200 per kilo, becuse of high demand.

He added, the income range for pork meat is P60 to P70, and  the P60 difference from gate price to market price is reasonable for both the producers and the consumer.

Reaño said, the DA is also trying to lessen the involvement of middlemen so that pork prices can go down further.

He added, with proper awareness and information through the farmgate prices posted in markets, even the retailer will know if they are being abused by the middlemen.

“We are trying to build triple A slaughterhouses and triple A dressing plants to lessen the involvement of the middleman.

Kasi sa magbababoy, ang farm may ahente, ang ahente kukuha ng consolidator na byahero, tapos dadalhin sa wholesaler, wholesaler dadalhin sa retailer.  So ang daming kamay na dinadaanan.  ‘Yun sana ang mai-reduce namin,” Reaño said.

Farm gate price still based on supply and demand, Reaño added.(DA-OSEC)