Agri sector grew by 3.9% in 2017, led by crops sector
The agriculture sector grew by 2.20 percent in the last quarter of 2017, bringing last year’s growth to 3.9 percent, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
This exceeds the target annual growth rate for the sector of between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent that was set by the Duterte administration under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP).
At current prices, the sector’s total production was valued at P500.4 billion for 2017, up by 9.32 percent from the previous year’s record as the crops, livestock and poultry subsectors registered gains.
In the fourth quarter, the crops subsector, which accounted for 51.20 percent of total output, recorded a 2.66-percent increase in production. Palay production increased by 4.37 percent while corn output declined by 5.73 percent.
High-value crops such as coconut, cassava, peanut, sugarcane, banana, pineapple and rubber also posted increases during the fourth quarter.
Overall, the subsector was able to contribute a total of P289.3 billion, up 7.05 percent from the level recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Meanwhile, the livestock subsector gained 1.84 percent in terms of output during the fourth quarter, mainly driven by strong hog production. It grossed P85.5 billion at current prices, a 14.39-percent increase over last year’s record.
Poultry production also expanded by 4.73 percent. Except for duck, which was still feeling the effects of the avian flu that occurred in the third quarter last year, all components of the subsector posted output gains in the last quarter. It earned P59.3 billion, or 15.22 percent more than the previous year’s receipts.
The fisheries subsector, which contracted in the previous quarter due to the use of low quality fingerlings and water pollution, continued to dip during the period. According to PSA, this was caused by fewer fishing trips due to rough seas and the onset of the northeast monsoon.
To recall, the industry’s performance during the fourth quarter of 2016 was badly affected by typhoons “Karen” and “Lawin,” which pulled down production in the crops and fisheries subsectors.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the destruction caused by typhoons Urduja and Vinta was expected to pull down the country’s agricultural output in the first half of this year, with the crop subsector bearing the brunt.