The average per capita protein consumption in the Philippines is very low, only 44.1 grams annually. This is primarily due both to the limited income of consumers and the inadequate supply of protein source products such as fish, pork, chicken, eggs, beef, and vegetables. The supply of protein source products from local sources has long been lagging behind the demand for domestic consumption. The reason for this is that expansion of the more traditional animal protein sources such as pork and chicken is severely constrained by the shortage of feed-grains and the strong competition for the use of the grains for direct human consumption. The short-run alternative adopted to solve the problem was to supplement local supply by importing meat and meat products. But this has a possible dampening effect on the set of incentives faced by the local producers and might even trap the country into a costly and unstable supply arrangement. One feasible alternative to increase meat supply is to increase cattle production. This has great potential because the country is endowed with abundant indigenous resources which are not yet fully utilized, such as farm by-products, pasture land naturally covered with native grasses, under- and unemployed labor, and the most salient factor--climatic conditions suited for a year-long forage production. This study is intended to be a preliminary study with the general objective of applying the subsection framework in describing the beef subsection in the Philippines and in identifying problems, constraints and potential opportunities for improvement. Specifically, this study aims to provide: a) a description of the organization and structure of the beef-cattle subsection, which can serve as a basis for designing more detailed research for policy, program and project analysis in the future; b) a description of the coordinating mechanisms and institutions; c) a description of the subsection conduct and performance; d) an initial partial diagnosis of problems, bottlenecks, constraints and opportunities in the subsection; and e) a list of research questions needed to diagnose the subsection and improve policy, program, and project planning.


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