DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Sept) – Sheep and goat farmers here are asking for a separate slaughterhouse that would cater to halal products for export to Southeast Asian markets, as well as for local distribution.
In an interview Wednesday, Councilor Marissa Salvador Abella, chair of the city council’s agriculture committee, told reporters that she was approached by Davao City-based goat and sheep farmers to help build a halal slaughterhouse so that the products would not be housed in the same facility as hogs for meat processing.
“It should be separate,” Abella said. “You can’t have the same facility processing the meat from these different products.”
Abella said that there is a huge demand for goat and sheep products, such as meat and milk, in Southeast Asian countries such as Brunei.
She added it is urgent for the city government to partner with the private sector, especially with the approach of the Asean Economic Integration next year.
The city, she added, is enjoying the perfect time to invest in halal meat products with partnerships with the Department of Agriculture already existing.
As part of the halal certification, farmers could tap funds from the DA to have their products certified halal by agencies such as the Negros Islands Certification Services, Organic Certification Center of the Philippines, and Control Union, which identifies the feeds for the animals for halal slaughter.
Part of the authenticity of halal products, she added, is proof that even the feeds are from organic sources.
“Halal does not just involve prayer,” Abella said. “We are also concerned with the technical aspects of the preparation of the meat.”
She said the local government would need to partner with national government agencies.
The LGU, for its part, would help the farmers seek and avail loans, as well as facilitate the requirements for exporting their products.
Abella added that she would discuss this possibility with Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte.
She suggested approaching national agencies such as the National Dairy Authority for assistance. “But as our counterpart, we need to assure that the farmers undergo trainings, values formation and financial management,” Abella noted.
“We can’t just have farmers serving the meat to guests during birthdays and fiestas without profiting from the livestock,” Abella said.