THE Philippines’ agricultural output decreased by 0.83 percent in the third quarter of 2018, which was blamed on the typhoons that hit the country in the period.
In its quarterly “Performance of Philippine Agriculture” report, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the figure was significantly lower than the 2.32-percent growth the sector posted in the same period last year.
This means that agriculture, which makes up a tenth of the country’s gross domestic product, would have contributed little to third-quarter economic growth, official data for which are scheduled to be released on Thursday.
The government blamed the drop mainly on the damage wreaked by typhoons Henry, Inday, Josie and Ompong, particularly in the country’s northern provinces.
Gross value of agricultural production in the period, however, climbed by 6.82 percent to P409 billion from last year’s P383 billion.
The crop subsector, which make up the bulk of output at 45.58 percent, fell by 3.64 percent — a reversal from the 5.24-percent growth a year earlier — as palay (unhusked rice) and corn production contracted by 5.70 percent and 14.83 percent, respectively.
“This was attributed to the damages brought by typhoons [during the period] in Northern Luzon and the delayed planting due to the ongoing rehabilitation of irrigation facilities and late release of irrigation water in Cagayan Valley and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces),” PSA said.
The livestock subsector, with an 18.89-percent share of total output, increased by 2.15 percent. Dairy production also rose by 10.39 percent.
Poultry also grew by 5.45 percent from 3.42 percent in July to September 2017.
Fisheries production declined by 2.64 percent because of fish kills, limited supply and inferior quality of fingerlings, pollution, predation and typhoons. Seaweed output jumped by 5.16 percent from 0.37 percent a year ago.
In value terms, the crop, livestock, poultry and fisheries subsectors grossed P214.1 billion, P74.7 billion, P56.1 billion and P64.1 billion, respectively—all improving from year-ago figures, based on current prices.
Farmgate prices, meanwhile, expanded by 7.71 percent in the third quarter, with uptrends recorded across all subsectors. The PSA credited the gains to higher buying prices amid lower volume of production, and improved quality and increased demand.