Agricultural Sector Grows by 1.9 Per Cent

PHILIPPINES - The country’s agriculture sector has a total value of P956 billion at current prices, as it grew by 1.93 per cent during the first nine months of the year, the Department of Agriculture said.
calendar icon 13 November 2012
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In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the modest growth was led by the crops, livestock and poultry subsectors, citing estimates by the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), during a media briefing at the sidelines of the ninth National Organic Agriculture Congress in Cebu City.

The crops subsector, which accounted for 50.7 per cent of total output, increased by 3.33 per cent, as palay (paddy rice) and corn production grew by 6.9 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively, during the first nine months of 2012 versus the same period last year.

Total palay harvest amounted to 11.5 million metric tons (MMT), while corn output was estimated at 5.9 MMT.

The BAS said the Ilocos region recorded improvement in yield, early harvests and more plantings during the period. Early plantings were encouraged in support of the ‘5-in-2’ program of the DA and National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in Cagayan Valley, while Central Luzon recovered from last year’s crop damage due to typhoons.

“Our efforts are paying off,” said Mr Alcala, as he expressed confidence that total palay harvest for the entire year could reach 18 MMT, with a forecast production of roughly 6.5 MMT for the 4th quarter palay crop.

He said the projected fourth quarter palay output would include those from 100,000 hectares under the third cropping scheme, where thousands of farmers were encouraged to plant in September, as the DA through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) provided free crop insurance coverage of P10,000 per hectare, and the DA through its National Rice Programme offered free certified seeds to participating farmers. The initiative was undertaken in partnership with Irrigators’ Associations (IAs), covering areas served by major irrigation systems under the supervision of the DA-NIA.

As for other major crops, the BAS said higher production levels were registered by coconut, pineapple, coffee, tobacco and rubber. The crops sector grossed P566B at current prices.

The livestock subsector, which shared 15.6 per cent to total agricultural output, grew by 0.86 per cent, with a gross value of P150.9B.

The poultry subsector continued to post positive gains at it further increased by 4.6 per cent, with a total production worth P121.7B. The sector contributed 14.3 per cent to total output during the first nine months of 2012.

Finally, the fisheries subsector dipped by 2.5 per cent as commercial fishery catch continued to decline. The BAS said it was due to a combination of factors that included a ‘fish moratorium’ in Zamboanga Peninsula, lesser fishing efforts in several areas (Cagayan Valley, Quezon province, Western and Eastern Visayas, and Soccsksargen) due to rough seas, unstable fuel prices, and lesser appearance of some species.

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