May 18, 2019
Singapore is now looking at the Philippines as a “reliable” source of its food and agriculture imports, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Thursday.
This, following the completion of sanitary inspections by Singapore’s Agriculture and Veterinary Agency (AVA) of the production and processing sites as it plans to import several food commodities from the Philippines.
“Singapore’s new Ambassador to the Philippines, Gerard Ho Wei Hong yesterday expressed the eagerness of his country to receive the first shipment of table eggs, chicken, pork and vegetables from the Philippines,” Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a statement.
Piñol said Singapore, which has traditionally relied on products from Malaysia and Indonesia, is now looking at the Philippines “as the new source of [its] food needs.”
He assured the Singapore ambassador that the DA could “tailor-fit” its agricultural and food commodities production to the needs of the Singaporean market.
“We could produce commodities and package these following the standards and demands of your market,” Piñol told Wei Hong.
Last month, the AVA sanitary inspectors arrived in the Philippines for the on-site inspection of models of vegetable, fruit, hog, poultry and egg farms across the country.
The Singaporeans were scheduled to visit production facilities such as Gemsun Marketing, an egg layer farm in Batangas; Novoagri Inc., which processes eggs in Batangas; Pilmico Layer Farm in
Tarlac; Robina Farm No. 23 in Naic, Cavite; Ana’s Breeder Farms in Davao City; and Matutum Meat Packing Corp. in Gen. Santos City.
“The team was not able to inspect the vegetable production areas but the Ambassador was assured that the vegetable farmers of Mindanao, specifically from Bukidnon’s IMTASULA Complex, are ready to plant and grow the vegetables preferred by the Singapore market,” Piñol said.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Animal Industry, the National Meat Inspection Service and the Bureau of Plant Industry are now completing requirements to start the export of food and agricultural products to Singapore, he said.
The DA earlier announced its interest in supplying Singapore with much-needed chicken eggs amid stable local production after the country’s traditional supplier—Malaysia—announced its plan to limit or stop the export of eggs to secure ample supply for its domestic demands. Eggs imported from Malaysia make up nearly three quarters of Singaporeans’ egg consumption.
In December last year, the DA also bared plans to develop vegetable production in the four mountain towns of Bukidnon–Impasugong, Talakag, Sumilao and Lantapan (IMTASULA) and turn them into the country’s alternative source of vegetable supplies, as it explores exports to Singapore.
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