Global market for Halal foods is pegged at US$2.95 billion for meat alone. Non-Muslim countries, such as Brazil, Thailand, Australia and Belgium have already successfully tapped the Halal sector.
The Philippine National Standard (PNS) for Halal Food, the code of Halal Slaughtering Practices, and the protocol for Halal Certification have been generated by a group of national agencies, such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Office of Muslim Affairs (now National Commission for Muslim Filipinos).
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) had also developed its own Halal Food Industry Master Plan and Certification Body along with related measures undertaken by Regions 9, 11, and 12.
A number of Philippine food exporters had been attesting to the Halal market niches in the Middle East countries, as they await potential producers and exporters.
Alcala said the challenge to evolve a competitive Halal production drive is for the regions in Mindanao to respond to.
At present, DA through the Bureau of Animal Industry, National Meat Inspection Service, Livestock Development Council, Bureau of Agricultural Products Standards, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, have lined up the following Halal support projects, such as Halal Slaughterhouses, Halal Goat Production , Halal Organic Fertilizer, and Halal Aquaculture.
Alcala said these require strategic collaboration of stakeholders so that the Halal food industry could finally take off.
“We have a lot of catching up to do. And we should be confident that with increasing dynamism in the agricultural sector, Halal Food Industry in the country would not anymore be treated as an alien concept but a home-grown production drive forming part of our national food sufficiency effort,” he said.
“Together, Muslim and Christian alike, we must value Halal food not only for its economic potentials but also for the well-being it would generate to the Filipino people and for the religious harmony it entails,” he added.
Source: Manila Bulletin