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Agriculture sector takes hit from typhoons, output falls

/ 11:43 AM November 08, 2018
20181108 Rice Flood Cagayan Corn Storm Typhoon Mangkhut Ompong Philippines

An aerial photo shows devastated homes and rice and corn fields inundated by floods from a swollen river after heavy rain during Typhoon ‘Mangkhut’ in Alcala, Cagayan province, on September 16, 2018. AFP

The agriculture sector contracted during the third quarter of the year after the country’s major rice-producing and fishing areas were distraught by a series of typhoons, which adversely affected the crops and fisheries sectors.

From a growth of 2.32 percent last year, farm output declined by 0.83 percent. This puts the country’s overall growth for the year at a mere 0.15 percent from 4.59 percent a year ago, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.

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In an earlier interview, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said they expected dismal growth for the period, but was optimistic that it would not decline.

At current prices, the sector’s total production was valued at P409 billion, up 6.82 percent from last year. Farm-gate prices also increased at an average of 7.71 percent from a year ago as production grew on the back of higher demand.

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The surge in farmers and fishermen’s farm-gate prices was also brought by higher production costs from hikes in fuel prices.

In terms of volume, the crops and fisheries sectors both registered cuts following the damages brought by typhoons “Henry,” “Inday,” “Josie,” and “Ompong.”

Computations by the Department of Agriculture and the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council showed the sector incurring P29.5 billion in damage from typhoons.

The weather disturbances cut palay production by 5.7 percent, while corn production recorded a 14.83 percent drop.

Meanwhile, the fisheries sector posted a decline of 2.64 percent due to overflowing of ponds. Fishermen were also reported to have lessened their fish stockings in anticipation of more floods and high inputs.

Both the poultry and livestock sectors grew during the third quarter. Output for livestock increased by 2.15 percent while poultry output went up by 5.45 percent. /cbb

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TAGS: Agriculture, Business, economy, Growth, Philippine statistics authority, Philippines, typhoons
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