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Philippines missed agri production target in 2021 — gov’t data

The Philippine agricultural output posted a slight growth in the last quarter of 2021, but this was not enough to bring the full-year figure close enough to the 2% full-year target of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Official data show that the value of production in agriculture grew by 0.6% in the fourth quarter, marking the first quarter of growth for the year — poultry grew by 2.7%, crops by 2.6%, and fisheries by 1.4%, while livestock fell by 9.7%.

Poultry growth was driven by chicken eggs which grew 12.7%, while chicken, duck, and duck egg production fell to negative territory.

Crops were mainly driven by the growth in corn up 28.6%, followed by cacao up 11.4%, coconut up 3.6%, tobacco up 3.4%, and eggplant up 3.0%. Declines were seen in the output of onion, abaca, potato, cabbage, coffee, tomato, banana, and mango.

In terms of fisheries, the biggest increases were seen in the output of blue crab (alimasag), tiger prawn (sugpo), mudcrab (alimango), threadfin bream (bisugo) and grouper (lapu-lapu), among others.

The downtrend in livestock production was mainly due to the drop in hog production which fell by 12.6%, while increases were seen in production of cattle, carabao, goat, and dairy.

The fourth-quarter growth compares with the -2.6% in the third quarter, and -3.8% recorded in the same quarter of the previous year. The value of production for the quarter stood at P560.39 billion, up 0.6% from the previous year.

The latest figures brought the full-year agricultural output at -1.7%, lower than the -1.2% the previous year and far from the 2% growth targeted by the DA.

Typhoon Odette

Agriculture Secretary William Dar attributed the decline to damages incurred due to the Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) which entered the country in December, leaving P13.8-billion worth of damages to the agriculture sector.

“We would have easily breached the 20-million ton level as Typhoon Odette damaged more than 130,000 metric tons of palay,” he said in a separate statement.

“Nonetheless, it shows that we are on the right track in our continuing efforts to increase the production of our major staples, in partnership with millions of our farmers, fishers, livestock and poultry raisers, local government units, private sector, and agri-fishery stakeholders,” he added.

The Philippines has missed its agricultural output target in the past several years, blaming storms and other issues such as the African swine fever (ASF) in 2019 and 2020— RSJ, GMA News