After being the bright spot in 2020, the Philippines’ agricultural production dropped by 3.3% in the 1st quarter of 2021, as the sector battles African swine fever and the coronavirus pandemic, figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.
Crops and fisheries, in contrast, recorded increases in production.
Livestock production contracted by 23.2%. Hog, which is the major contributor for livestock, dropped by 25.8%.
“We expected the poor performance of the hog industry as our efforts to control the African swine fever and repopulate ASF-free areas are yet to bear fruits,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
Poultry production declined by 7.4% as chicken production went down 11.2%.
Fisheries production posted a flat growth rate of 0.6% during the period.
Crop production grew 3.3%, as palay and corn production increased by 8.6% and 6.5%, respectively.
“We will continue to implement our Plant, Plant, Plant program that is mainly focused on increasing our basic food commodities like rice, corn, vegetables, livestock, poultry, and fisheries,” Dar said.
The value of agricultural production during the first 3 months of 2021 amounted to P484.8 billion, 8.4% higher than the year-ago level.
The Department of Agriculture aims for growth of 2.5% in 2021 after a contraction of 1.2% in 2020 amid the “perfect storm” caused by the pandemic. – Rappler.com