MANILA, Philippines – Farm output in the first 6 months of 2012 grew by a paltry 0.93% with a gross value of P691.14 billion at current prices, the Department of Agriculture announced.
In a press briefing on Monday, August 13, agriculture officials said farm growth in the second quarter was at 0.73%, slower than the 1.08% pace the sector registered in the first quarter and lower by 2.32% in the same period last year.
The following subsectors performed as follows in the first 6 months of the year:
- Crops (contributes 52% of total agricultural production) grew 1.5%, grossing at P392.3 billion. It was propped up by the 4.15% rise in palay production and 4.8% increase in corn production. Palay harvest during the first 6 months of the year reached 7.89 million metric tons (MT), 42% higher than 7.58 MMT in the same period last year. Corn production reached 3.47 MMT, 4.8 million higher than the output in the same period last year of 3.31 MMT.
- Livestock (contributes 15.2%) grew slightly by 0.5% and grossed P100.3 billion at current prices. The increase in hog production sustained the sector’s positive performance in the first semester.
- Poultry (contributes 13.9%) expanded by 5.5% and grossed P81.3 billion at current prices. Bigger gains were seen in the production of chicken and chicken eggs.
- Fisheries (contributes 18.8%) slowed down 3.33% and grossed P117.4 billion at current prices. Downtrends in production were seen for marine and inland fishes as well as aquaculture. Bureaus of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Director Asis Prez said this was because of the fishing ban imposed in the Pockets 1 and 2 of the Pacific Ocean, which is near the Zamboanga peninsula, during the first two months of the year. He said fish production is expected to grow next semester since the ban has been lifted.
Despite the 3 successive weather disturbances – two typhoons and flooding due to monsoon in July and August — 3rd quarter palay output is still likely to reach 3.56 million MT, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said.
While this reflects a 12% increase over 2011’s output of 3.17 million MT, Alcala explained this target can be achieved since most of the affected areas were in the “vegetative” stage, meaning the chances of recovery are high.
Farmers are expected to harvest palay in September.
2012 target stays
The department is maintaining its 2012 full year growth target of 3% to 5% for agriculture.
The sector is expected to again be buoyed by the crops subsection, which traditionally accounts for about half of the farm output.
After posting growth of 4.15% and 4.8% respectively in January to June, palay and corn production output for the entire year is seen to increase to 17.8 million metric tons. This is 6.7% higher than the 16.68 million metric tons recorded in 2011.
In the third quarter, palay production seen to post a 12% increase to 3.56 million metric tons from 3.17 million metric tons last year. – Rappler.com, with reports from Cai Ordinario