MANILAThe average April-June farm gate price of carabao or water buffalo for slaughter rose further this year amid dipping production and inventory of the livestock animal.
The average carabao liveweight price per kilogram rose 9.74 percent to PHP93.43 in 2018 from 2017's PHP85.14, latest Philippine
Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed.
The average carabao price was even lower in 2016 at PHP75.09.
The PSA defined farm gate price as the price at which farmers and livestock and poultry raisers sell their produce "at the first point of sale, net of freight."
The PSA said the Philippines produced 38,467 metric tons of live carabaos in the second quarter of 2018, down from 39,690 MT last year.
"The highest reduction in terms of production level was reported in Western Visayas due to lower liveweight of carabaos disposed for slaughter," the PSA said.
The nationwide carabao production volume was even higher in 2016 at 40,298 MT.
The PSA said it considers the volume of locally raised animals disposed for slaughter in its production volume data.
Inventory of carabao nationwide as of July 1 also decreased 0.17 percent this year from 2017's 2.88 million heads, the PSA said.
It added the bulk of this year's inventory still consisted of backyard farms' carabaos totaling 2.87 million heads and commercial farms' carabaos numbering 10,724 heads.
The PSA said that for inventory, it counts the actual number of domesticated animals present in farms as of a specific reference date.
According to the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), carabao is among the country's sources of meat and milk.
Carabao is also used in farming, especially in rain-fed or upland areas, the organization said.
The PCC said despite mechanization, farmers nationwide still generally use carabaos for draft, particularly when farming in fragmented and small landholdings and in areas where these animals are already well-integrated. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency