The country’s agriculture sector grew at a slower pace during the third quarter of the year, as increases in crop and fisheries production were not enough to offset the losses recorded in livestock and poultry.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that from July to September, farm sector’s production grew by a modest 0.7 percent compared to the 2.3 percent growth in the same period in 2019.
From January to September, the sector declined by 0.2 percent, coming from a 0.4 percent growth during the same period last year.
During the third quarter, increases in production were noted for crops and fisheries, while livestock and poultry posted reductions in outputs.
At current prices, the value of agricultural production grew by 4.1 percent to P404.6 billion from the previous year’s level of P388.5 billion.
Crop production, in particular, grew by 4.8 percent, contributing 52.7 percent to the total agricultural output.
This is attributed to higher production levels of palay and corn, which increased by 15.2 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, while double-digit production growths were noted for sugarcane at 23.8 percent and cacao at 12.0 percent.
Output increases were recorded for potato, eggplant, mongo, sweet potato, and mango, while lower production was seen in tobacco, calamansi, pineapple, cabbage, banana, onion, coffee, cassava, abaca, coconut, and tomato.
In total, the value of crop production amounted to P211.1 billion, which is 10.8 percent higher compared to previous year’s level.
Fisheries production, which shared 15.8 percent in the total agricultural output, also grew by 1.9 percent.
Higher output increases were noted for bigeye tuna, Bali sardinella, blue crab, cavalla, yellowfin tuna, frigate tuna, roundscad, grouper, skipjack, and squid, while lower production was recorded for fimbriated sardines, tiger prawn, mudcrab, milkfish, slipmouth, indian mackerel, seaweed, threadfin bream, and tilapia.
The value of fisheries production amounted to P63.4 billion during the period, which was lower by -0.9 percent.
Meanwhile, livestock production, which accounted for 17.5 percent of the total agricultural output, was down by 7.6 percent during the period.
Dragged by African Swine Fever (ASF) and logistics issues prompted by COVID-19 lockdown, hog recorded a reduction in output at 7.7 percent, while production of cattle and carabao also dropped by 10.7 percent and by 6.3 percent, respectively.
At current prices, the value of livestock production fell by 1.6 percent to P71.4 billion.
Chicken production, on the other hand, contracted by 7.2 percent this period.
At current prices, the value of poultry production amounted to P58.7 billion, down by 4.4 percent from the previous year’s level.