Singapore agency to firm up food export deal with PH

MANILA -- Singapore wants to import chicken, other poultry products and vegetables from the Philippines.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced this in a chance interview with media on the sidelines of the First Command Conference of the Philippine Committee (PhilCom) against IUU fishing held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on Monday.

Piñol said representatives from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore is set to visit the Philippines in March next year to inspect the various agriculture facilities in the country for possible import of eggs, chicken, meat and vegetables.

Piñol, in his earlier meeting with Singaporean Ambassador to the Philippines Kok Li Peng, said they agreed to fast-track agricultural trading negotiations to allow the export of pork, chicken and eggs, vegetables and shrimps by early next year.

In fact, Piñol said, Universal Robina Corp. (URC) has signified interest to supply eggs, chilled pork and chicken to Singapore.

He said shipment of highly perishable products would not be a problem to the corporation because its sister company flies to Singapore several times a week.

Other products that aside from eggs and chicken, Singapore is interested in vegetables from Bukidnon, pork, other poultry products, brown rice, organic rice, and shrimps (vannamei).

AVA was earlier reported to be looking for suppliers of chicken and egg because Malaysia was scaling down on its exports to Singapore.

This prompted the DA chief to immediately organize a negotiating team to discuss the prospects with the Singapore Ambassador.

Piñol said it was agreed that AVA will send an inspection team to the Philippines early next year.