In 1990 the livestock industry, consisting primarily of cattle, carabao (water buffalo), hogs, and chickens, accounted for almost 20 percent of value added in the agricultural sector, up from 12 percent in 1980. Much of the growth came from the rapid expansion of poultry raising, which had begun to develop as a commercial industry in the 1960s. Chicken raising accounted for half of livestock value added in 1990 as compared with a quarter in 1970. Beginning in the late 1980s, commercial hog raisers also attempted to enter the international market by exporting live hogs to Hong Kong. Although carabao production increased as a result of an intensified livestock dispersal program run by the government, the carabao and cattle industries remained primarily backyard ventures.
In the late 1980s, hogs provided 60 percent of total domestic meat production; chickens provided 15 percent; and cattle and carabao, about 20 percent. The country was relatively selfsufficient in hog and chicken production but imported approximately 4,500 tons of beef annually. The economic difficulties of the 1980s made the lower-priced chicken and carabao attractive substitutes for higher-priced pork and beef, but carabao raising remained oriented primarily toward providing work animals. The dairy industry in the Philippines also was quite small. Liquid milk generally was not available in the market, and virtually all canned and dry milk was imported.
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