Acharon said the DA’s National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) has allocated some P5 million for the proposed facility, which would feature an international-standard laboratory and various modern apparatus.
He said the construction of the meat laboratory was earlier included in the 2006 budget of NMIS.
“This facility will help ensure the production of quality meat products for our domestic markets and hopefully for shipments abroad,” he said.
Acharon said the city government recently signed a memorandum of agreement with Singaporean investor Dr. Tan Hock Seng for a joint venture on the operation of the meat laboratory.
The establishment of a meat laboratory here was earlier requested by local hog growers and meat producers to help improve the quality of their products and usher more market opportunities.
This city and neighboring Sarangani and South Cotabato provinces, boast of a hog population of at least one million head. The area is among the country’s top producers of live hogs.
The South Cotabato Swine Producers Association said at least 40 percent of the area’s hog population is raised in commercial quantity.
Acharon said the facility would be a big boost to the local economy as it would encourage existing hog and livestock raisers in the area to expand their operations and attract new investments as well.
He said it will also support the city’s bid to be the country’s top producer of quality hogs and meat products.
Southwestern Mindanao, the second largest livestock producer in the country, ships 80 percent of its commercially raised hogs to Manila, mostly coming from the city and nearby South Cotabato.
The City Veterinary Office said their records indicate that at least 20,000 live hogs are shipped to Manila via the Makar port here every month.(Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)