By Madelaine B. Miraflor
Singapore is all set to import several farm products from the Philippines, following the completion of sanitary inspections its Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) recently conducted in some of the processing sites here.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that Singapore’s new Ambassador to the Philippines, Gerard Ho Wei Hong, told him that his country is now looking at the Philippines as a potential reliable source of its food and agriculture imports.
Wei Hong also told Piñol that Singapore is now eager to receive the first shipment of table eggs, chicken, pork and vegetables from the Philippines.
“We have traditionally relied on products from Malaysia and Indonesia but now we are looking at the Philippines as the new source of our food needs,” Wei Hong said, as cited by Piñol.
Piñol, for his part, said the Philippines could “tailor” its agricultural and food commodities production to the needs of Singaporean market.
“We could produce commodities and package these following the standards and demands of your market,” Piñol told Wei Long.
Last month, the AVA sanitary inspectors arrived in the Philippines to check on the production and processing facilities for eggs, chicken and pork. However, the team was not able to inspect the vegetable production areas.
The Bureau of Animal Industry, the National Meat Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Plant Industry are now completing the requirements to start the export of food and agricultural products to Singapore.
Last year, following reports that Malaysia was scaling down its exports of poultry and eggs to Singapore, the Department of Agriculture (DA) immediately reached out to the first world city-state to make a formal offer to supply them with such commodities.
In the hopes of creating a market for Philippine agricultural products in Singapore, the DA is also set to hold a food agri-aqua trade show in the Lion City to meet potential business partners and explore business opportunities.
Piñol said the DA would like to take advantage of the country’s proximity to Singapore, where most available agriculture products are imported.
Meanwhile, a group of Singapore businessmen is also expected to visit the country from July to August for inbound business missions.