THE value of crop production in Central Visayas fell by P4.721 billion last year, according to data disseminated by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 7 on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023.
The decrease is attributed to the destruction brought about by super typhoon Odette that struck the region in December 2021.
Leopoldo Alfanta Jr., chief statistical specialist of PSA 7 said the figures for the crops’ growth rate plunged Central Visayas to the bottom of the list among the 16 regions in the country.
During the information dissemination conference of the 2022 Performance of Agriculture & Fisheries in Central Visayas on Monday, representatives from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and National Economic and Development Authority shared their insights on the data.
In the crops subsector, Alfanta said the region’s production value dropped 16.9 percent, from P27.967 billion in 2021 to P23.246 billion in 2022.
He said Central Visayas posted the highest decrease in production value of crops in the whole country, followed by Western Visayas, which suffered a 3.5 percent drop. The Bicol Region registered the highest increase at 2.6 percent.
In Central Visayas, Alfanta said, sugarcane had the highest volume of crop production by commodity at 2.26 million metric tons, followed by coconut at 0.3 million metric tons and palay at 0.24 million metric tons.
In terms of the value of crop production by commodity, palay topped the list at P5.152 billion, followed by sugarcane at P4.08 billion and mango at P3.48 billion. Fourth on the list was banana production at P2.4 billion, followed by coconut at P2.32 billion.
Coffee production in the region was only valued at P3 million, cacao at P6 million, and monggo at P21 million.
Alfanta said that in 2022, only cabbage and string beans posted positive growth in the value of crop production by commodity at 9.4 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
Leo Pelletero, project evaluation officer of DA 7, said the farmlands were vulnerable due to the destruction caused by super typhoon Odette.
“Calamities like typhoons that were experienced [in] late 2021, that is why the production of crops was heavily affected considering that our farmers are still recovering,” he said.
He said all kinds of crops, including high-value crops like cacao, coffee and fruit crops like mango, and those found in either lowland or highland areas, were affected by the typhoon.
Pelletero acknowledged that these decreases are significant and needed to be addressed by allocating enough budget to help the sector recover.
He also said that aside from addressing recovery efforts, the agriculture sector must be boosted as its economic performance contributed the least among other sectors.
According to a SunStar Cebu report last April, the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector only contributed P84 billion or 6.5 percent of the total gross regional domestic product of Central Visayas in 2022.
Among the major economic sectors, the services sector remained the largest contributor to the regional economy at P892.7 billion, accounting for the highest share at 69.4 percent in 2022.
This was followed by the industry sector that contributed 24.1 percent or P310.6 billion to the region’s performance in 2022, with manufacturing and construction being the top contributing subsectors.