THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it may encourage the use of processed seaweed as an alternative to corn-based animal feed, as a means of lowering the cost of meat and poultry.
“This will relieve our animal raisers from the high cost of commercial feed,” Undersecretary Deogracias Victor B. Savellano said in a statement.
Mr. Savellano added that the DA will seek assistance from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to develop seaweed as an animal feed.
“We are tapping the expertise of (FAO Country Representative) Lionil Henri Valentin Dabbadie to explore the processing of seaweed as commercial feed for farm animals,” he added.
He said seaweed can save on feed costs and is abundant along Philippine coastal areas.
During the second quarter, seaweed was the leading item by volume of all fisheries products, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Output was 365,775 metric tons for the period, accounting for 33.9% of fisheries production.
Other efforts to raise the supply of feed include the proposed conversion of sugarland in Batangas to corn, following the recent closure of the province’s sugar central.
“Sugarcane farmers can take on a new livelihood and help supply the requirement for animal feed for livestock and poultry,” he said.
In 2022, Central Azucarera Don Pedro, Inc. in Nasugbu, Batangas announced its closure due to the challenging operating environment in the province, citing the lack of cane to support a milling operation. — Adrian H. Halili