As a result of El Niño effect
PHILIPPINE agriculture output con-tracted by 2.34 percent in the second quarter of the year as gains in livestock and poultry could not offset massive losses in the crops and fisheries sectors.
The agriculture sector mainly suffered from the effects a prolonged dry spell due to the El Niño phenomenon, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Monday.
In the “April-June Philippine Agriculture Performances” report, the statistics office noted the gross value of production totaled P379.1 billion, up 1.31 percent from a year earlier.
In the six months to June, the sector posted a 3.48 percent drop in production.
The crops subsector, which accounted for 48.31 percent of the total agricultural output, recorded a 4.97 percent decline in April-June. The subsector grossed P204.9 billion at current prices or 1.97 percent higher than the previous year’s record.
Palay and corn production registered cuts of 6.10 percent and 10.0 percent, respectively.
Paddy rice output was pegged at 3.71 million metric tons or 6.10 percent lower year-on-year. The PSA noted significant decreases in yield and harvest areas as a result of the dry spell, particularly noted in the Soccsksargen, ARMM, Caraga, and the Visayas.
There were also reports of rat infestation during the crop’s maturing stage which brought down production in Caraga and South Cotabato.
Corn production, pegged at 910,000 MT, was down 10 percent. A reduction in harvested areas and lower yields
were traced to the dry spell in Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, and ARMM.
In the first half of the year, total crop production went down by 6.80 percent.
The livestock subsector grew by 6.56 percent, contributing 17.66 percent to the total agricultural output. At current prices, the subsector grossed P63.9 billion, a 2.75 percent increase year-on-year.
Hog, the major growth driver, expanded by 7.41 percent.
In the first half of 2016, livestock production grew by 5.60 percent. The poultry subsector was up by 1.25 percent. It accounted for 15.72 percent of the total agricultural production.
The subsector’s gross earnings at current prices reached P50.0 billion, up 8.01 percent.
The fisheries subsector posted a 5.90 percent drop in output, accounting for 18.31 percent of the total agricultural production. At current prices, the subsector grossed P60.2 billion, down 6.91 percent.
In the first half of 2016, the subsector recorded a 5.92 percent drop in production.
On average, farmgate prices increased by 3.74 percent in the second quarter. Average price increases were higher in the crops and poultry subsectors at 7.31 percent and 6.68 percent, respectively.
A decline in prices was noted in the livestock subsector at 3.57 percent on average. For the fisheries subsector, prices were down 1.08 percent.
In the six months to June, farmgate prices were up 3.45 percent on average.