RP seeks foreign investors halal food industry in Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines –
The Department of Agriculture is looking for foreign investors to put
in P3.04 billion in a halal industry based in Mindanao that will create
thousands of jobs and corner a share in the $500 billion global halal
food market.

Halal is a term referring to anything permitted by Islamic law
and is often applied to food that has been prepared in accordance with
Muslim principles and techniques.

This Halal Food Industry Economic Hub portfolio will include a Halal
Economic Zone in Davao City, the centerpiece of the investment
portfolio, which will cost at least P2.2 billion to develop.

The zone is expected to generate 24,000 new jobs for Muslim Filipinos
and boost the Philippines’ export earnings by at least $200 million per
year, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Clayton Olalia said on Thursday.

The other investment proposal is an P840-million halal model poultry
farm in Cagayan De Oro City. This will include research laboratories,
abattoirs, and other modern facilities.

Some 32,000 Muslim farmers and entrepreneurs in Mindanao are expected to benefit from this proposal.

According to Olalia, the DA will this halal industry investment
portfolio to investors in the Middle East, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and
the United States.

Filipino business groups, too, may also invest in areas like the following:

• halal animal feed

• halal livestock and poultry farms or slaughterhouse

• halal restaurants and similar food establishments

• halal food laboratory testing facilities

With the global halal food market valued at some $500 billion, the
Philippines can earn at least $5 billion a year by initially tapping
just 1 percent of this lucrative share through exports, he said.

The Philippines has a comparative advantage over many other countries
when it comes to developing its halal food industry considering that it
is free from bird flu and foot-and-mouth disease, Olalia said. – D’Jay Lazaro