Agri registers lowest income share in Davao Region, grows 0.6% in 2023

BIGGER BUDGET. To support the growing need of the country amid the global health and economic crisis, the Department of Agriculture wants the government to raise the agency’s working budget for 2021 to P284.4 billion. The bulk of the budget will be used to increase rice production. (SunStar file)
BIGGER BUDGET. To support the growing need of the country amid the global health and economic crisis, the Department of Agriculture wants the government to raise the agency’s working budget for 2021 to P284.4 billion. The bulk of the budget will be used to increase rice production. (SunStar file)

Despite being labeled as the “Fruit Basket of the Philippines”, the agricultural sector including the forestry and fishing (AFF) in Davao Region recorded lowest in terms of economic share with 14.5 percent in 2023.

This is about P147.18 billion of economic share out of the P1.02 trillion recorded in the region for 2023. However, the AFF’s economic performance registered a slight growth of 0.6 percent as compared to 2022 data. 

Services accounted for 60.9 percent or about P620.08 billion while Industry shared 24.6 percent at P250.94.

Meanwhile, the national economic AFF sector growth is recorded at 1.2 percent in 2023, compared to its 0.5 percent growth in 2022.

The region is known in the global market for its famous exports of tropical fruits with durians, banana, and pomelo leading the list. The National Economic Development Authority-Davao Region (Neda-Davao) emphasized that they will not downplay the AFF sector despite their focus on making the region as the logistics and digital hub of Mindanao.

Neda-Davaop added that one of the major goals is to push the growth of the agriculture sector and become a predominant AFF industry in the country.

“We need to push for allowing the agriculture sector to grow more in order to assure food security for the region. We continue to push the growth for the sector,” Mario Realista, NEDA-Davao chief economic development specialist, said during a news conference on the 2023 economic performance of Davao Region at Seda Abreeza Hotel last week.

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) records showed that the region maintains its 8.2-percent AFF sector expenditure’s share for the second straight year, in 2022 and in 2023. 

It ranks as the fourth-largest contributor to the AFF sector in the country, behind Central Luzon (13.9 percent), Northern Mindanao (10.4 percent), and Western Visayas (8.9 percent).

Meanwhile, Anthony Abalos, PSA-Davao Region expenditure and integrated accounts division officer-in-charge, cited the low growth rate to the volatile agricultural prices in the market.

According to the official, Dabawenyos must produce more agricultural products themselves and consume those produced by Filipinos to contribute to the regional agricultural growth rate as well.

The representative clarified that the cost of value-adding, or converting raw agricultural items into other products—like banana chips—will be included in the services category. 

However, as of now, PSA currently lacks "a clear method to draw a line" between value-added from unprocessed agricultural products. 

Overall, Davao Region now posted 6.7 percent growth to P1.02 trillion from P954 billion in 2022, with services-based business dominating the positive growth rate. 

The region's growth rate is higher than the national growth rate at 5.5 percent. It gained an estimated increase of P63.97 billion.

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