Farm output posts marginal growth in H1-A A +A
Monday, August 13, 2012
THE Philippine agriculture sector has posted a minimal growth during the first half of this year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Monday.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that farm output grew by 0.93 percent from January to June, with a gross value of P691.4 billion at current prices.
He said the contraction of the fisheries subsector, which accounted for 18.8 percent of total agricultural output, has affected the growth in agriculture sector. It grossed P117.4 billion at current prices.
Alcala said the modest growth was bannered by the poultry, crops and livestock subsectors, which grew by 5.5 percent, 1.5 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
The crops subsector, which accounted for 52 percent of total agricultural production, was led by palay and corn, as production increased by 4.15 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.
Harvest of palay during the first six months of the year totaled 7.89 million metric tons (MT), which was 4.2 percent higher than last year’s 7.58 million MT. Corn production amounted to 3.47 million MT, 4.8 percent more than last year’s output of 3.31 million MT.
Alcala said the good weather and appropriate interventions by the DA through the provision of quality seeds and more irrigated areas have enabled farmers to produce a record second quarter palay harvest, totaling 3.9 million MT. This was 10 percent higher than last year’s 3.54 million MT during the same April to June period.
Likewise, second quarter production of corn increased by 4 percent to 1.45 million MT, from last year’s level of 1.4 million MT.
During the first six months of the year, production of other major crops also increased. These include coconut (up by 5.5 percent), pineapple (4.4 percent), coffee (4.4 percent), tobacco (3.8 percent), abaca (3.1 percent), cabbage (3 percent) and rubber (6.7 percent). Total crop production was valued at P392.3 billion, at current prices.
The poultry subsector, which shared 13.9 percent in total agricultural output, expanded by 5.5 percent and grossed P81.3 billion at current prices.
The livestock subsector, which contributed 15.2 percent to total agricultural production, grew slightly by one-half percent, and grossed P100.3 billion at current prices.
Meanwhile, despite the recent flooding due to Typhoons “Ferdie” and “Gener,” and monsoon rains, Alcala expressed better forecasts for both palay and corn for the second semester.
Based on survey of standing crops last July, the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics said the third quarter palay production may reach 3.56 million MT, which is 12 percent more than last year’s output of 3.17 million MT.
For the fourth quarter, based on farmers’ planting intentions, palay production would top 6.36 million MT, which is 7 percent more than last year’s output of 5.94 million MT.
In all, palay production for 2012 may reach 17.8 million MT, which would be another record harvest, and 6.7 percent more than last year’s output of 16.68 million MT, the DA chief said.
As for corn, production for the second semester may reach 3.99 million MT, based on third quarter standing crop and fourth quarter farmers’ planting intentions.
Likewise, total corn production for the entire 2012 may reach 7.46 million MT, which is also a record harvest, and seven percent more than last year’s output of 6.97 million MT.
In all, the projected increases in palay and corn production may be attributed to the expansion in harvest areas due to expansion of irrigated areas, and improvement in yields due to the use of quality seeds, Alcala said. (SDR/Sunnex)