Farm output growth slows to 2% in first 9 months
MANILA, Philippines - Farm output growth in the first 9 months of 2012 slowed down from last year, mainly due to lower fish production, data form the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) showed Tuesday, November 6.
Farm output volume grew 1.93% in January to September, less than the 4.72% growth in the same period last year.
In terms of gross value, farm output amounted to P956 billion, down by 0.23% year on year.
"Declining prices of major commodities in the crops and livestock subsectors led to the 0.23 percent decrease in gross earnings during the reference period," said BAS.
Crop production, which accounted for 50.73% of the total agricultural output in the first 9 months, grew 3.33%. It had a gross value of P566 billion, 1.61% lower than last year's.
Palay and corn production grew 6.91% and 7.49%, respectively. Higher output was also seen in coconut, pineapple, coffee, tobacco and rubber.
The livestock subsector, which contributed 15.62% to the total agricultural output, recorded a 0.86% growth in production in the first 9 months. Slower production was seen in hog and cattle, while gains were recorded in dairy production. The gross value of production in the livestock subsector was P150.9 billion, down by 1.32% from the previous year.
The poultry subsector had a share of 14.28%, and grew 4.62%, with nearly all its components posting gains. Gross earnings in this subsector amounted to P121.7 billion, higher by 4.82% from 2011.
Bucking the uptrend was the fisheries subsector, which accounted for 19.37% of total agricultural production. Fisheries suffered a 2.57% contraction in volume. However, its gross value rose 3.10% from last year to reach P117.4 billion.
On the average, farm gate prices declined by 2.11% in the January to September period.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala expects the fisheries subsector to register a positive growth by the first quarter of 2013, as the country resumed fishing activities in Pocket 1 of the Pacific Ocean on October 1.
As far as palay production is concerned, Alcala said the country is on track with its 2012 production target of 18.26 million metric tons because of good response to the third cropping scheme.
Alcala said this year's overall farm growth target remains at 4% to 5%. - Rappler.com