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MANILA, Philippines – Agricultural production grew at only 0.56% in 2018, greatly missing the target of 4% for the year, said the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Wednesday, January 23.
The 2018 figure is much lower than 2017’s record of 3.95%.
The steep decline was led by the fisheries sector, which was down by -1.13%. While in the negative, it was still a slight recovery from 2017’s -1.73%.
Crop production in the country also went down, registering -0.98%. This was a sharp drop from 2017’s record of 6.69%.
Poultry and livestock lifted the overall figure, as they registered growths of 5.75% and 1.89%, respectively.
While the overall growth in agriculture dropped, farmers enjoyed higher gains. The gross value of crop production amounted to P295.4 billion at current prices or 2.19% more compared to last year.
Gross receipts from palay production went up by 7.69% because of higher prices.
The PSA said typhoons and inadequate irrigation water during the 4th quarter affected production in the country.
Economic managers repeatedly slammed the Department of Agriculture (DA) last year and urged the agency to improve production methods of farmers.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia earlier said that the reason behind high inflation in 2018 was the “gross deficiency in the domestic production of food.” (READ: How high inflation exposed cracks in governance)
The DA set the growth target for 2019 at 3.5%. – Rappler.com