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PIA Press Release

ARMM needs Halal feedmill investors

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (1 August) -- The Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is pushing its Halal poultry production as industry players embark on new partnership that would support the project.

Datu Haton U. Bandila, ARMM Business Council chair during the Talk Mindanao held at SM City Davao on Tuesday said they need investors to engage in Halal Feedmills.

Bandila said their initial talks with Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) member companies last July 13 showed good prospects and in fact prospective investors will be joining in the ARMM Business Congress on September 4 and 5, 2007.

"Hopefully we can signed some agreements during the business conference next month," he said.

Bandila said the feedmill project is an important component of the Halal poultry production which need to be developed.

Other than that, he said they are preparing their people the task to administer the Halal process of which 20 Ustadz will be trained in Kuala Lumpur.

Bandila said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) already had agreed to fund the training of the Ustadz.

"The ARMM already had been issued Halal certification and it is just a matter of implementing the process," he said.

ARMM, he said has not gone into full blast poultry project operation except on backyard production.

He said the capability is there and the only thing that is lacking is its implementation and the whole of ARMM could be tapped into such industry.

Meanwhile BIMP EAGA Business Council chair Antonio Santos in an interview said that the poultry project shared by Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines has not fully taken off.

Santos said there are areas that need to be firmed up plus the fact that the Avian Influenza has move to some member countries.

He said it is only in the Philippines of the four countries that is free from the Bird Flu virus.

Santos said although the talks is informal he already presented the idea of doing the production in Mindanao.

He said Mindanao can produce the Halal chicken for distribution to the countries like the Middle East and Europe.

He said the move of increasing production is already there, in fact producers like San Miguel Corporation is opening up other areas for corn production to support their chicken business.

"The chance of bringing it to Mindanao is very slim but if we look at it as safe and free from the virus then the island is an ideal area for production," he said.

The government through the Department of Agriculture has speed up its campaign on advocacy against Bird Flu.

Bird Flu task force head for Mindanao Dr. Rafael Mercado earlier said that everybody must help in protecting the island for the entry of the virus and to maintain and keep it as a Bird Flu Free Mindanao. (PIA XI) [top]

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