Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 29) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it will work with other government agencies to strengthen the country’s salt industry.
In a statement on Sunday, the DA said it would work closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to improve local production of salt in accordance with Republic Act 8172 or the Act for Nationwide Salt Iodization (ASIN).
It comes as the sector has “failed to adapt” to challenges arising from climate change, food safety standards and quality requirements, tariff reduction and mandatory iodization imposed by RA 8172 , said the DA.
“Under the ASIN Act, the DENR, along with other appropriate government agencies, must identify areas that can be used as salt farms with the aim of protecting those areas from environmental hazards to ensure the sustainability of production. of iodized salt,” the DA said.
The DTI, on the other hand, has a mandate to help and support local salt producers and manufacturers in upgrading production technologies to also include iodination.
This can be done by “helping them obtain concessional loans and financial assistance for the purchase of salt iodization machinery, conditioning equipment and technology, and fortifiers; and ensuring systematic distribution of iodized salt in the market,” according to the DA.
The country imported 93% of its salt needs, according to the DA. The agency calls this “unfortunate” given that the country has 36,000 kilometers of coastline.
The DA cited poor quality control and delayed product improvement as factors in the “decline” in salt production. He also mentioned limited development, which includes lack of innovation and interventions as well as low business and investment opportunities.
The DA will implement measures to stimulate production and ensure that the requirements of commercial and industrial users are met. These include various research and development activities and technical assistance for marginal and artisanal salt makers under the direction of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, he said.
“DA will also look into the expansion of production areas and the development of technologies, including the evaporation system and the use of various machines to accelerate salt production,” said the statement, which also assured the availability of processing, packaging and added value. facilities to marginal salt manufacturers under a co-sharing agreement.