August 08, 2018 at 07:10 pm
Julito G. Rada
The agriculture sector barely grew 0.07 percent in the second quarter, as the strong poultry and livestock production offset the lower rice and corn harvests, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.
“Improvements in production were noted in the livestock and poultry subsectors. However, the crops and fisheries subsectors recorded declines in output,” the PSA said in a statement Wednesday.
The second-quarter growth was slower than the 1.47-percent expansion in the first quarter and 6.22-percent increase a year ago. This brought the sector’s first-half growth to 0.58 percent, slower than the 5.73-percent expansion in the same period last year.
The sector accounts for less than a fifth of the gross domestic product. The PSA on Wednesday revised the first-quarter GDP growth from 6.8 percent to 6.6 percent, ahead of the release of second-quarter data.
“Major contributors to the downward revision were other services, manufacturing and agriculture and forestry,” the PSA said.
The PSA said the total gross earnings of combined crops, livestock, poultry and fisheries subsectors in the second quarter reached P447.2 billion at current prices. This was 5.55 percent higher than the previous year’s record.
The crops subsector, which accounted for 49.65 percent of the total agricultural production, registered a 2.08-percent reduction in output in the second quarter and a 0.44-percent decline in the first half.
“Palay and corn production decreased by 1.44 percent and 3.42 percent [in the second quarter], respectively,” the PSA said.
Increases were noted in other major crops such as coconut, banana, pineapple, mongo, tomato, garlic, eggplant, and rubber.
The livestock subsector grew 1.88 percent on higher hog production. The subsector’s gross output also increased 1.95 percent in the first half.
Production in the poultry subsector grew 5.14 percent in the second quarter and 5.19 percent in the first half.
The fisheries subsector contracted 0.05 percent in the second quarter and 2.14 percent in the first half.
Data showed that farmgate prices went up 5.48 percent in the second quarter. Price uptrends were noted in crops at 6.27 percent, livestock at 7.83 percent and fisheries at 6.75 percent. The poultry subsector recorded an average price drop of 0.25 percent.
Farmgate prices went up by an average of 6.39 percent in the first half.