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Crops, fisheries grew, but not enough to pull up agri growth in 2021 Q1

Author: DA Communications Group | 10 May 2021

Despite the good performance of the crops and fisheries sub-sectors, the performance of the country’s agriculture sector dipped by 3.3 percent (%) during the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, due mainly to the substantial reduction in hog and poultry production, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

“We expected the poor performance of the hog industry as our efforts to control the African Swine Fever (ASF) and repopulate ASF-free areas are yet to bear fruits,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

The total value of crop production increased by 3.3%, bannered by palay and corn, which grew by 8.6% and 6.5%, respectively.

The crops sub-sector contributed 58.8% to total agricultural output, which at current prices was valued at P484.8 billion (B), 8.2% more than the previous year’s amount for the same three-month period, the PSA said.

Fisheries production registered a 0.6% growth during the period. It contributed 13.7% to total agricultural production, the PSA added.

Livestock production, which shared 14.2% in total agricultural output, contracted by 23.2%.

In particular, hog and chicken production decreased by 25.8% and 11.2%, respectively.

The poultry sub-sector, which accounted for 13.3% of total agricultural production, declined by 7.4%, the PSA said.

“We are aggressively taking steps to help the country’s swine industry recover from the ASF. These include the ‘Bantay ASF sa Barangay’ and its twin hog repopulation program,” said Secretary Dar.

Joining the DA in the twin program are the local government units, veterinary firms and practitioners, the academe, and the government’s two main financial institutions — the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) that are lending P30 billion and P12 billion, respectively, to commercial swine raisers in ASF-free areas.

“We will continue to implement our ‘Plant, Plant, Plant program’ that is mainly focused on increasing our basic food commodities like, rice, corn, vegetables, livestock, poultry, and fisheries — comprising more than 70 percent of our agricultural GVA,” Secretary Dar said.

“We have also included the coconut sub-sector, as we need to increase its contribution of four percent to total agricultural GVA, being the country’s top export product. Thanks to the recently enacted ‘Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Law or RA 11524,’ we now have substantial budgetary resources to modernize and industrialize this ‘sleeping giant,'” the DA chief concluded. ### (DA StratComms)

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