The country’s farm sector grew by 1.83 percent last year boosted by record palay and corn production.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority -Bureau of Agricultural Statistics showed that the agricultural production was estimated at P1.6 trillion, up by 9.71 percent from last year.
The crops subsector, which accounted for 52 percent in total agricultural production, grew by 3.25 percent as palay and corn output reached record high. At current prices, the subsector’s gross value of output amounted to P933.7 million, up by 14.52 percent compared to the 2013 level.
Palay production reached was 18.97 million metric tons, 2.87 percent higher than the 2013 output of 18.44 million MT; while corn production for calendar year 2014 reached 7.77 million MT, 5.33 percent above the 2013 output of 7.38 million MT.
Higher production was attributed to the use of high yield variety seeds, more fertilizer use, and favorable weather condition and government interventions. Also, notable gains were also recorded in sugarcane, mango, tobacco, cassava and onion production.
Production of coconut, on the other hand, continued its downtrend with a 3.95 percent reduction this year as coconut farms in Eastern Visayas and Western Visayas were still reeling from the ill effects of Typhoon Yolanda last year.
Calabarzon reported lower production this year because of Coconut Scale Insect (CSI) infestation, while in Bicol Region, coconut farms were severely damaged by Typhoon “Glenda” in the third quarter of the year. In addition, fewer nuts were developed in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte due to extreme heat during the crop’s fruit development.
PSA, meanwhile, said that the livestock production increased by 1.02 percent, contributing about 16.10 percent to total agricultural output. The subsector’s gross value of production amounted to P247.1 billion, at current prices—indicating a 5.60 percent improvement from last year’s earnings.
The poultry subsector, which shared 14.54 percent in the total agricultural production, inched up by 0.27 percent. PSA attributed the growth to stronger production of chicken, duck and duck eggs. At current prices, the subsector grossed P189. billion which was 7.84 percent higher than previous year’s level.
Fisheries production, which accounted for 17.65 percent of total agricultural output, declined by 0.15 percent in 2014 with a total gross earnings amounting to P242.0 billion or 1.03 percent lower than last year’s record.
Palay and corn outlook for H1 2015 PAS expects another record palay production of about 8.55 million MT in the first half of 2015, or 2.02 percent more than the 8.38 million MT output in 2014. This is because of increased harvest area, and yield improvement. Based on standing crop, probable palay production in January-March 2015 was pegged at 4.59 million MT, 6.62 percent higher than the 4.31 million MT output in 2014.
For corn, January-June 2015 production is expected to increase by 6.02 percent from 3.48 million MT in 2014 to 3.69 million MT because of largest harvest area and higher yield.