January 31, 2023

Filipino Guardian

Sentinels of Filipino Free Press

Agricultural production increases in Q3

A fish vendor sells “tamban” (sardinella) at Paco market in Manila, September 22. Fisheries production fell in the third quarter of 2022, according to the statistics agency. — PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

By Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson, reporter

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION rose in the third quarter as growth in the crops, livestock and poultry sectors offset a decline in fisheries production, the Philippines Statistics Administration (PSA) said on Wednesday.

Data released by the PSA showed that the value of production in agriculture and fisheries increased by 1.8% in constant prices from 2018 in the period July to September. This was a reversal of the 0.6% decline in the second quarter and the 2.6% decline in the same quarter in 2021.

“At current prices, the value of production in agriculture and fisheries was 501.58 billion pesetas, up 12.3% on the previous year,” the PSA said.

Agricultural production increases in Q3

For the nine-month period, the value of agricultural production rose 0.3%, reversing a 2.5% decline a year ago.

The agricultural sector contributes around a tenth of total GDP. Economic data for the third quarter is due to be released today (Nov 10).

Grains, which contributed 53.9% to the total value of agricultural output, rose 1.8% annually in the third quarter. This was an improvement from the 2.8% decline in the second quarter and the 0.2% decline in the same quarter of 2021.

However, crop production contracted 1% in the January-September period, a reversal of growth from 2.1% a year ago.

In the third quarter, corn and corn production increased by 1% and 2.5%, respectively. Sugar cane production increased by 78.8%, while abaca production increased by 21.7%.

Pablo Luis S. Azcona, who represents the sugar growers’ bloc in the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), said the higher sugar production was due to the early start of the milling season.

“We started almost two weeks early. At the moment the production is higher compared to last year for the same period,” said Mr. Azcona in a telephone conversation.

In August, the government pushed for sugar factories to reopen ahead of the milling schedule to ease supply shortages that were pushing up prices.

The current sugar harvest year began on September 1st and ends on August 31st, 2023.

Higher production was also observed for cocoa (8.2%), tomato (6.1%), bitter gourd or ampalaya (2.7%), eggplant (2.3%), sweet potato (2.2%), tobacco ( 1.9%), onion (1.7%) reported. ), pineapple (1.5%), cabbage (1.2%) and coconut (1%).

The production of mongo (0.7%), cassava (0.3%) and banana (0.1%) remained almost unchanged.

The data also showed a drop in production of calamansi (6.2%), coffee (4%), mango (3.8%), potatoes (1%) and rubber (0.3%).

At current prices, crop production rose 4.2% to 240.97 billion pesos from last year’s record.

Meanwhile, livestock, which accounted for 15.6% of total production, rose 4% in the July-September period, versus -15.3% in the same quarter of 2021.

In the first nine months, the value of animal production increased by 1.8% compared to -19.4% in 2021.

Pork production rose 4.5% in the third quarter, along with expansions in dairy (15.8%), carabao (3.5%) and beef (1.2%). Goat production shrank by 1%.

Fermin D. Adriano, former Secretary of State for Agriculture for Policy, Planning and Research, said in a Viber message that livestock production had improved as the pig industry continued to recover from the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

In the latest Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) bulletin, the number of active ASF cases is now limited to just nine regions, 17 provinces and 26 municipalities, down from the 15 regions, 58 provinces and 748 municipalities when the disease first struck in 2019 .

PSA data also showed that poultry production, which accounted for 15.2% of total farm output, rose 6.4% in the third quarter. This is an improvement on the 1.3% growth seen in July-September in 2021.

The value of poultry production increased by 8.8% in the January-September period, compared to -1.3% in the same period in 2021.

Poultry performance in the third quarter was attributed to strong growth in duck eggs (13.9%), hen eggs (6.7%) and hen eggs (6.1%), which offset the 12.1% slump in duck production.

At current prices, the value of livestock production was P94.49 billion, up 18.7% year-on-year.

Roehlano M. Briones, a senior research fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, said growth in chicken production has been fueled by higher demand.

Fisheries, which accounts for 15.3% of total agricultural production, was the only sector to show a decline in the third quarter.

The value of fisheries production fell 4.2%, worsening from a 2.4% decline in the second quarter and 0.01% growth in the same period a year ago.

Nine-month fishery production also contracted by 4%, down from -0.3% in the same period a year ago.

Double-digit growth was recorded for squid or pus (43.3%), bigeye tuna (32.4%), yellowfin tuna (27.6%), sardines or tuna (18.3%) and seaweed (10.8%).

However, this was offset by the double-digit slump in Mudcrab or Alimango (32.5%), Blue Crab or Alimasag (29.4%), Indian Mackerel or Alumahan (20.7%), Tiger Prawn or Sugpo (20.5%) , Bali Sardinella or Tamban (17.2%), Grouper or Lapu-Lapu (14.2%) and Milkfish or Bangus (10.9%).

At current prices, the value of fisheries production was P77.97 billion, an increase of 10.3% over the previous year.

“The fisheries have declined due to a series of typhoons such as Typhoon Karding. The fishermen couldn’t fish,” said Mr. Adriano.

Agricultural damage from Typhoon Karding, which made landfall in September, totaled 3.12 billion pesos, according to the Agriculture Ministry. The volume of lost production was estimated at 158,117 tonnes (MT), affecting 170,762 hectares of farmland and 108,594 farmers and fishermen.

Meanwhile, damage from severe Tropical Storm Florita, which made landfall in August, reached 1.13 billion pesos, affecting 6,647 farmers, with lost output of 66,633 tons on 44,922 hectares of farmland.

Analysts warned that annual growth in the third quarter could be misleading and may not signal sustained expansion in the final quarter.

Raul Q. Montemayor, national manager of the Free Farmers’ Association, pointed to the nine-month annual decline in harvests and fishing output.

“Poultry and livestock are recovering from last year’s negative growth rates. We expected worse performance mainly due to the impact of fertilizer and fuel prices,” he said in a Viber message

At the end of September, the average price for a bag of prilled urea rose 64.7% year-on-year to 2,523.08 pesos.

Mr Briones noted that growth in agriculture tends to be “erratic”.

“I see no reason for sustained growth, especially given the threats of climate, disease and high input costs,” he added.

Mr Adriano said production could increase ahead of the holiday season due to greater demand.

“It depends (also) on whether pigs continue to recover from ASF and poultry from bird flu. The harvest could decline due to high fertilizer costs and typhoon damage,” he added.