In response to a request from the Palau Livestock Association, the Office of President Remengesau granted $50,000 in financial aid to support the COVID-Relief Livestock Program.
The program was launched by the PLA with the support of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism in order to bolster Palau’s livestock sector, which has been hard hit by the lockdown and pandemic, along with the rest of the food and beverage industry.
“This pandemic has demonstrated . . . the critical value of domestically strengthening food production, and establishing true food sovereignty for Palau,” said EllenderNgirameketii, President of the PLA.
Organizations like the PLA have previously raised concerns that markets and restaurants in Palau are over-reliant on imported meats, and that food security in the islands depends upon strengthening the domestic sale of local pork and poultry.
President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. during the Wednesday press conference said that it is necessary for the government to subsidize local farmers because they cannot compete with cost of similar imported products.
“Even in the largest countries in the world like the United States, the farms are heavily subsidized by the government,” expressed Remengesau. He went on to cite the cost of feed, labor and production to be very high locally, which makes local production of pork, chicken and other produce more expensive than imported products.
“We believe that strong collaboration and coordination between the national government and Palau’s livestock farmers is the most effective solution for stimulating and reinforcing the positive growth on the overall industry,” said Ngirameketii. (By: Adam Somers)