MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ agricultural output dropped by 1.7% for the entire 2021, despite more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions during the year.
Figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority released on Wednesday, January 26, showed that agricultural production grew 0.6% during the fourth quarter, but this was not enough to offset the dismal figures recorded in the previous quarters.
The first quarter registered -3.3%, while the second and third quarters posted -1.5% and -2.6%, respectively.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the fourth quarter could have been better, if not for Typhoon Odette (Rai), which damaged P13.3 billion worth of goods.
“We would have easily breached the 20-million-ton level as Typhoon Odette damaged more than 130,000 metric tons of palay,” Dar said.
Dar, however, noted that the country is “on the right track” in improving the agriculture sector.
During the fourth quarter, poultry grew by 2.7%, crops by 2.6%, and fisheries by 1.4%.
The latest full-year figure is lower than the -1.2% in 2020 and far from the 2% target set by the Department of Agriculture.
In previous years, the government blamed African swine fever and storms for missed growth targets. – Rappler.com