Farm sector output up 2.3%
The agriculture sector posted slower production growth at 2.32 percent in the third quarter of the year, compared to 2.98 percent in the same quarter last year, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
The drop may be attributed to crop shifting by farmers who opted to grow crops that fetched better prices, and to the continuous downtrend in fisheries output brought about by the use of low quality fingerlings and water pollution.
In terms of current prices, growth was at 6.27 percent with P382.5 billion in gross receipts. This was despite the fall in chicken prices as consumers avoided buying chicken due to the prevalence of avian influenza during the period.
Cumulatively, agricultural output rose by 4.64 percent in the first nine months of the year from year-ago level.
The PSA said production gains in the crops, livestock and poultry sectors of 5.18 percent, 0.91 percent and 3.41 percent, respectively, were the main growth drivers during the quarter.
The 4.27-percent fall in fish output, however, dragged the farm sector’s overall growth during the quarter.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol earlier said he was expecting the crops subsector to offset any adverse effects of the bird flu incident in Pampanga and Nueva Ecija on the local poultry subsector.
“The impact would be very minimal for the third and fourth quarter. Based on reports from the regions, palay harvest during the period will be good,” he said in an interview with reporters.
Crops contributed 46.89 percent of the total agricultural output in the third quarter versus last quarter’s 50.75 percent share.
The livestock subsector’s output inched up by 0.91 percent or P68.9 billion with all its components recording output increments due to higher local demand. Production of carabao, hog, cattle and goat posted increases during the period.
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