Agri output up 1.93% in 1st 9 mos

By Czeriza Valencia, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 07 2012 07:36 AM | Updated as of Nov 07 2012 03:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s agricultural production grew at a slower pace of 1.93 percent in the first nine months of the year from a growth rate of 4.72 percent a year ago because of continued slowdown in fish production, the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) reported yesterday.

The gross value of farm output in the first nine months of the year was valued at P956 billion at current prices, down by 0.23 from last year.

“Declining prices of major commodities in the crops and livestock subsectors led to the 0.23 percent decrease in gross earnings during the reference period,” the BAS said.

Crop production, which accounted for 50.73 percent of the total agricultural output in the first nine months of the year, grew by 3.33 percent. Palay and corn production increased by 6.91 percent and 7.49 percent respectively. Higher output was also seen in coconut, pineapple, coffee, tobaco and rubber. The subsector had a gross value of P566 billion, lower by 1.61 percent from last year.

The livestock subsector, which contributed 15.62 percent to the total agricultural output, recorded a 0.86 percent growth in production in the first nine months of the year. Slower production was seen in hog and cattle.Gains were mostly seen in dairy production. The gross value of production in the livestock subsector was P150.9 billion at current prices, down by 1.32 percent from the previous year.

Production volume in the poultry subsector, which had a share of 14.28 percent in total farm output for the period went up by 4.62 percent. All components of livestock and poultry components posted output gains except duck. Gross earnings of the subsector amounted to P121.7 billion at current prices, higher by 4.82 percent from 2011.

The fisheries subsector, which accounted for 19.37 percent of the total agricultural production, suffered another output reduction with a 2.57 percent contraction during the first nine months of the year. At current prices, gross value of fisheries production amounted to P117.4 billion, 3.10 percent higher than last year’s earnings.