Monday, February 14, 2011

Halal industry seen to propel economy of Mindanao

ISABELA CITY, Basilan, Feb. 14 (PIA) -- The huge global market for Halal products may propel the economy in Mindanao, but this is largely dependent on the consciousness of local Muslim consumers and the business community when looking at the vast potentials of the industry.

Dr. Norodin A. Kuit, Muslim Mindanao Halal Certifying Board, Inc. (MMHCBI) Lead Halal Auditor said that halal goods and services are currently valued at USD 1.323 trillion in global food value.

He said that other countries, particularly non-Muslim countries are venturing more on the halal industry because of its multi-billion dollar value. He cited Thailand as champion of the industry, which is currently dubbed as the “kitchen of the world.”

Dr. Kuit said that unlike in the Philippines, Thailand has sole Halal Certifying Board and 33 out of 78 provinces have their own halal program. Eleven universities have their comprehensive halal program, notably the Cholalongkorn University in Bangkok that has their own Halal Science Center with sophisticated 280 million Baht worth of Halal laboratory and equipment.

He added that Thailand government allotted about 40 billion Baht to develop Patani Province as the Key Halal Production Hub of Thailand.

Dr. Kuit said that the Philippines, particularly the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are looking at the model countries for halal industry development in the country.

He said the halal market is so vast that Mindanao particularly the ARMM should take advantage of, adding that Global Muslim consumers are estimated at 1.8 billion in 112 countries. Non-Muslim countries exporting Halal products are Thailand with a value of US$10 billion annually and Australia with US$3.2 billion in 2002.

In his message during the third Halal Consultation and Orientation workshop in Lamitan, Basilan last week Veterinary Dr. Rogelio M. Bahinting, the OIC-Provincial Agriculture Officer challenged stakeholders to take an active role in spreading awareness of the industry towards the pursuit of economic growth in Mindanao.

Saddened by the slow pace of its development since it was started in 2003, Bahinting asked the participants to find the missing link that would raise the halal industry in the Philippines to its maximum growth potential.

He called on all stakeholders to look back at previous consultation meetings if questions and commitments made during those times were answered, particularly in boosting the industry through advocacy, the commitment of the Ulamas in spreading awareness and local government units in policy support.

Courtesy by: PIA Daily News

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