By Agriculture Sec. Manny Piñol
Argentina, the land of 52-million cattle with a 40-million population, will soon start exporting quality beef to the Philippines as three companies have been accredited by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) recently as qualified meat exporters.
In exchange, Argentina is keenly looking at importing coconut products, carageenan and other agricultural products from the Philippines.
Beef imports from the U.S. will also be encouraged because of America’s favourable trade incentives to Philippine agricultural producers.
A team from the Philippines is also flying to Brazil to undertake a validation of the sanitary and photo sanitary protocols being implemented by meat exporting companies following reports of the presence of salmonella in some exported meat to the Philippines.
While the salmonella incident was an isolated case, the Philippine Agriculture Department decided to ban the import of meat products from Brazil pending the conduct of an SPS validation.
Brazil is the second biggest country in terms of cattle population with 213-million cattle and a population of 200-million.
Argentina has 52-million cattle for a 40-million population.
The country with the biggest cattle population is India with 301-million but their population is 1.2-billion.
Australia is actually the biggest exporter of beef and live cattle to the country, accounting for 47% of the supply in the market.
Australia, however, has been very protective of its fruit sector and has refused to allow the entry of bananas into the country citing SPS issues which definitely have no basis because Philippine bananas are exported to Japan, South Korea, China and prospectively Eastern Europe.
The country Down Under has been utterly unfair in their treatment of Philippine agricultural exports that it took so many years before it allowed the entry of Philippine mangoes.
It was only in 2016 when Australia allowed the export of mangoes from the Philippines coming from outside of Guimaras and Davao Region because of issues on the presence of weevil and fruit flies.
Palawan, however, is still banned from exporting its mangoes because of unchecked presence of weevil in the mangoes from the island.
While there will be no efforts to restrict the entry of Australian beef and live cattle into the Philippines because it would violate trade agreements, the Philippine market would be made accessible to trading partners who treat Philippine agricultural producers fairly by allowing access to their markets.
A Philippine delegation will be visiting Brazil and Argentina in December in time for another round of negotiations in the World Trade Organization.
The Agriculture Department will be working closely with the Argentinian and Brazilian cattle sectors for the implementation of programs which would result in the increase of the Philippine cattle population from 2.5-million now to 5 million by the end of the term of President Rody Duterte. | from Sec. Manny Piñol Facebook post