Typhoons slow down PH agriculture growth in Q1
MANILA, Philippines – The lingering effects of devastating storms that struck the country in 2013 slowed down growth in the agriculture sector in the first quarter of 2014, government data showed.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said in a report released on Thursday, May 15, that the agriculture sector grew by 0.67% in the first 3 months of 2014, lower than in first quarter of 2013.
“The slowdown in the sector’s growth could be traced to the devastating effects of typhoons that hit the country last year. The output increases noted in the crops, livestock and poultry subsectors were negated by the contraction in the fisheries subsector,” the report said.
But it also said that gross earnings in agriculture rose to P386.6 billion in the first quarter of year – a 10.75% increase from the same period last year because of high farmgate prices.
Farmgate prices rose by an average of 10.1% from January to March this year over 2013. Prices in the crops subsector rose by 15.81%; livestock and poultry subsectors, by 4.34% and 3.90% respectively; and fisheries subsector, by 0.62%.
On the production side, there were output increases in the crops, livestock and poultry subsectors while there was a contraction in the fisheries subsector.
The crops subsector grew by 1.53%, lower than the growth rate of 3.13% in the comparative period. It grossed P225.8 billion, up by 17.58% from last year.
Palay production rose by 3.28% and corn by 1.33%. Increases were also seen in sugarcane, pineapple, cassava and onion production.
Damages caused by typhoons Santi, Vinta and Yolanda last year are still felt in some components of the subsector particularly in the coconut industry where production fell by 6.1% in the first quarter.
The affected coconut plantations are in Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, Quezon, Masbate, Romblon and Surigao del Norte.
Production in the livestock sector rose by 1.20%, faster than the growth rate of 0.34% in the first quarter of 2013. The hog industry, which expanded by 1.25%, continued to be a major growth driver in the sector.
The PSA noted the “significant” increase in demand for pork from industrial areas in Bataan, Metro Manila and Bicol region.
Production also rose in other components of the livestock sector. The subsector grossed P54.7 billion at current prices, higher than 5.58% from 2013.
The poultry subsector grew by 1.33% in the first quarter of 2013, driven by production gains in chicken and duck raising. The subsector grossed P45.7 billion, up by 5.29% from last year.
Production of native and broiler types of chicken rose in Davao on increased processing. In South Cotabato and Sarangani, high demand for chicken resulted to increased stocking in commercial broiler farms.
Growth in the fisheries subsector contracted by 3.25% on reduced production of most fish species except skipjack tuna. The subsector grossed P57.8 billion, lower by 2.64% from 2013.
The recent sulfur upwelling and the poor quality of fingerlings in Taal Lake in January 2013 also contributed to lower fish production, the PSA said. – Rappler.com
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