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Philippine's Agriculture Sector Grew by 2.34% in 2011

27 January 2012, at 8:08am

PHILIPPINES - The Philippine agriculture industry grew by 2.34 per cent in 2011, bannered by the crops, livestock and poultry subsectors, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Wednesday.

The DA said the combined positive performance of the three subsectors served as a cushion, as the fishery subsector registered negative growth due to dwindling fish population caused by overfishing, illegal fishing practices, and successive typhoons during the second semester of 2011.

Total farm production was valued at P1.4 trillion at current prices, 11.5 per cent more than in 2010, it said.

The crops subsector — which contributed one-half or 49.6 per cent to total agricultural output — registered a 4.82 per cent increase, led by palay (paddy rice) and corn.

Likewise, palay harvest totaled 16.68 million metric tons (MMT), 5.8 per cent more than in 2010 (15.77 MMT), while corn production amounted to 6.97 MMT, 9.3 per cent more than in 2010 (6.38 MMT).

Sugarcane production also grew significantly to 28.38 MMT, 58.3 per cent more than in 2010 (17.93 MMT). Tobacco, pineapple and rubber also posted positive gains last year.

Total gross value of production of the crops subsector reached P804 billion at current prices, 19.4 per cent more than in 2010.

The livestock subsector, which contributed 16 per cent to the total agricultural output, registered a 1.99 per cent growth. It was led by the hog industry which produced 1.94 MMT, 2.2 per cent more than in 2010 (1.89 MMT). Cattle and dairy production also increased by 1.8 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively.

The livestock subsector grossed P212.9 billion at current prices, one percent higher than in 2010.

Chicken production increased by 4.5 per cent, while chicken egg production moved up by 4.2 per cent. Total value of poultry products amounted to P158.8 billion at current prices.

The fisheries subsector, which accounted for one-fifth or 20.7 per cent to total agriculture output, decreased by 4.1 per cent, as commercial and municipal fish production dipped by 16.3 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively. Aquaculture production, however, grew by 2.4 per cent.

The fishery subsector grossed P225.1 billion at current prices, 1.85 per cent more than in 2010.

Commercial and municipal fish catch declined due to overfishing, illegal fishing activities, and rough seas and strong winds during the second semester caused by several typhoons. Meanwhile, the DA, through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, will implement conservation policies and measures, like imposing no fishing during breeding season at selected seas to allow fish stocks to regenerate.

Earlier, the DA-BFAR implemented a three-month no fishing season for sardines at Sulu and Visayan Seas, starting 1 December, 2011. The policy is implemented in consultation and coordination with commercial and municipal fishermen and industry stakeholders.

Overall, farmers, fishers and ruralfolk were better off in 2011, as farmgate prices of various farm and fishery products increased by about nine per cent. Farmers of major crops enjoyed higher average prices, at 14 per cent more than in 2010.