0.7% Growth is observed in Agriculture Sector after the 3rd Quarter
The country’s agricultural sector was able to maintain its growth in the third quarter at a relatively faster pace of 0.7 percent from 0.5 percent the previous quarter, again driven by the robust performances of the crops and fisheries subsectors.
However, agricultural production from January to September still fell by 0.2 percent due mainly to the poultry glut that remained unaddressed and the persistence of African swine fever among livestock farms.
While this was a far cry from the industry’s performance in the same period last year of 2.9 percent, it was still a bright spot for a country that has been saddled by the pandemic. In fact, only agriculture was able to record a positive performance last quarter when the economy plunged into a recession.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar described the latest report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) as “welcome news,” noting that the sector was able to perform well “despite the combined effects of the community lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic and severe weather conditions during the months of July to September.”
“It confirms that we are on the right track particularly on our palay and corn production program initiatives in partnership with farmers’ groups, local government units and the private sector,” he added.
PSA data showed that of the four subsectors, it was the crops subsector that was able to pull together the entire industry, registering the biggest growth at 10.8 percent and 4.8 percent for both prices and production, respectively.
Crops remained the biggest contributor to the total agricultural output at 53 percent. This was led by positive growth rates from staple crops such as palay and corn, which improved by 15.2 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. How the recent typhoons impacted the subsector would be reflected in the next quarter.
The fisheries subsector was also able to expand by 1.9 percent as well which allowed it to contribute 15.8 percent to the sector’s growth story. The gradual return of the demand for fish, which has also become an alternative source of protein for Filipinos evading the high prices of pork, incentivized fishers to improve their catch.
But the livestock and poultry subsectors did not fare as well.
Livestock production further declined by 7.6 percent from a contraction of 8.5 percent during the second quarter as ASF continues to dampen plans of hog raisers to strengthen production.
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