Agriculture Secretary William Dar have asked local government units (LGUs) and other agencies to incorporate chicken meat in relief food packs for distribution to their constituents and clienteles to ease supply glut and stabilize prices of said poultry product. “The inclusion of fresh chicken in the relief goods would hike the demand and increase the farmgate prices of broilers,” Secretary Dar added.

He issued the call-in response to the appeal made by the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA), whose members along with other poultry raisers nationwide continue to reel from weak demand and resulting oversupply of chicken meat, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We need to explore new markets to prop up demand, after a great number of food establishments and restaurants have discontinued or reduced their operations,” said Secretary Dar, adding that two possible markets are the departments of labor and employment (DOLE), and social welfare and development (DSWD).

He said he recently talked with labor secretary Silvestre Bello, who is amenable to the idea of including chicken under DOLE’s “Tulong Panghanap-buhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers.” “We will also present the proposal to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to include chicken meat in their relief food packs,” the DA chief added.

The DSWD is a member of the IATF task group on food security (TGFS), composed of 20 agencies and chaired by the DA. Further, the DSWD leads the TGFS sub-group on procurement, food packs, and distribution. The government’s food packs commonly contain rice, sardines, noodles and sugar, among other basic food items.