Egg Summit Presents 2008 Outlook of the Philippine Layer Industry
In the recently concluded 2nd Egg Summit held at the Department of Agriculture’s main office early last month, Robina Farms’ William Lim challenged the participants who came to the event to aim for a better and more viable egg industry by way of acquiring a paradigm shift. “A different mind set is what we need in order to address the issues of the industry,” Lim emphatically said.
Representing the egg breeders’ group, Lim presented a comprehensive outlook of the Philippine layer industry for the year in front of around a hundred people, most of whom were members of egg cooperatives all over the country. Describing the whole industry as a “boom-bust” cycle, Lim went back four years ago and explained how the egg industry suffered as a result of the bird flu which hit most parts of the Southeast Asian countries.
In 2005, however, Lim said there was an oversupply of table eggs and layer chicks and as a result, local breeders and farms cut back on their production. Consequently, prices of eggs commanded a good price between 2006 and 2007 as a result of the cutback and a lot of farms expanded their production capacity. By 2006, layer population was reported to he between 23 and 24 million.
Last year, a new batch of Day-Old-Pullets (DOP) players entered the market and mad, an unprecedented growth in the of parent stock (PS) importation. By that time, layer population was estimated to be between 29 and 30 million.
But things started to dwindle in the early part of this year when egg consumption dipped right after the Christmas holiday. Rising feed costs due to bio-fuels. a shortfall in grain production (SMB rose to P30), high inflation rate of 11.4 – brought about by high oil and rice prices consequently resulted to low farm -late prices of eggs which ranged between P4.00 and P4.50 per piece. Exacerbating this problem is the fact that the Philippines is still recorded as having the lowest per capita consumption of eggs in Asia (73 eggs or 3.5 kgs, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics).
Given this scenario, Lim presented recommendations to the egg industry players as to what ought to be done to address and alleviate the situation. To wit: he suggested cutting on PS layer importation to avert oversupply of DOP; called on DOP suppliers to cull breeders in order to reduce DOP volume for 2008; cut excess production of layer farms and increase egg price simultaneously and adopt new egg marketing ideas.
In order to implement the abovementioned recommendations, Lim further suggested that stakeholders should play an active role in solving the problem, create a forum that will allow PS layer breeders to oversee importation and rationalize DOP production, and to form a body that will look after the interests of the egg industry. This body, in turn, will strengthen the cooperation among DOP suppliers, layer farms, egg processors, egg product importers and stakeholders, support the National Egg Board, provide market intelligence and update statistics of the egg industry and provide protocol for best farm practices.
Moreover, Lim said this governing body will also explore export opportunities for eggs, egg products and DOPs, conduct market promotion activities to increase egg per capita consumption and organize the Integrators Egg Conference Philippines (which will affiliate with the International Egg Commission (IEC) to broaden egg marketing activities.
The 2nd Egg Summit also paved the way for the Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines’ Party List Representative Nicanor Briones to donate P500,000 as his pledge to the cause of the egg industry. Present during the donation ceremony were DA Asst. Secretary Salvador Salacup, National Federation of Egg Producers of the Philippines President Gregorio San Diego Jr., Director Divinio Catbagan of the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry and other government and private sector leaders who were heavily supportive of the development of our local egg industry.