Agri sector grows by 1% in 1st semester

THE AGRICULTURE sector grew by 0.93 percent (%) in the first half of 2012, with a gross value of P691.4 billion at current prices.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the modest growth was bannered by the poultry, crops and livestock subsectors, which grew by 5.5%, 1.5% and 0.5%, respectively.

The fisheries subsector, however, registered a decline of 3.3% versus the same six-month period last year.

The crops subsector, which accounted for 52% of total agricultural production, was led by palay and corn, as production increased by 4.15 % and 4.8%, respectively.

Harvest of palay during the first six months of the year totaled 7.89 million metric tons (MT), which is 4.2% higher than last year’s 7.58 million MT. Corn production amounted to 3.47 million MT, 4.8% more than last year’s output of 3.31 million MT.

Secretary Alcala said good weather and appropriate interventions by the DA through the provision of quality seeds and more irrigated areas have enabled farmers to produce a record 2nd quarter palay harvest, totaling 3.9 million MT. This was 10% higher than last year’s 3.54 million MT during the same April to June period.

Likewise, 2nd quarter production of corn increased by 4% to 1.45 million MT, from last year’s level of 1.4 million MT.

Meanwhile, despite the recent flooding due to typhoons ‘Ferdie’ and ‘Gener,’ and monsoon rains, the forecasts are bright for both palay and corn for the second semester.

Based on survey of standing crops last July, the DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics said the 3rd quarter palay production may reach 3.56 million MT, which is 12% more than last year’s output of 3.17 million MT.

For the 4th quarter, based on farmers’ planting intentions, palay production would top 6.36 million MT, which is 7% more than last year’s output of 5.94 million MT.

In all, palay production for 2012 may reach 17.8 million MT, which would be another record harvest, and 6.7% more than last year’s output of 16.68 million MT.

As for corn, production for the second semester may reach 3.99 million MT, based on 3rd quarter standing crop and 4th quarter farmers’ planting intentions.

Likewise, total corn production for the entire 2012 may reach 7.46 million MT, which is also a record harvest, and 7% more than last year’s output of 6.97 million MT.

In all, the projected increases in palay and corn production may be attributed to the expansion in harvest areas due to expansion of irrigated areas, and improvement in yields due to the use of quality seeds.

During the first six months of the year, production of other major crops also increased. These include coconut (up by 5.5%), pineapple (4.4%), coffee (4.4%), tobacco (3.8%), abaca (3.1%), cabbage (3%) and rubber (6.7%).  Total crop production was valued at P392.3 billion, at current prices.

The poultry subsector, which shared 13.9% in total agricultural output, expanded by 5.5% and grossed P81.3 billion at current prices.

The livestock subsector, which contributed 15.2% to total agricultural production, grew slightly by one-half percent (0.5%), and grossed P100.3 billion at current prices.

The fisheries subsector, which accounted for 18.8% of total agricultural output, contracted by 3.3%. It grossed P117.4 billion at current prices.


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