Govt eyes 3% farm growth this year

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The Department of Agriculture (DA) sees local farm sector output growing by 3 percent this year on stronger fisheries and livestock production.

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Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that growth in the agriculture sector will likely increase 3 percent in 2014, from 1.15 percent in 2013.

“Our main driver will be tuna, vannamei shrimp production since there is a massive demand in the international market, and livestock sector,” he told reporters.

Alcala also said that the government expects palay (unmilled rice) production to hit more than 100-percent sufficiency this year.

“It will surpass target, it should not be less than 19.5 million metric tons to 20 million MT,” he said.

To recall, the country’s farm sector fell short of its 3-percent to 5-percent growth target for 2013 following a series of natural catastrophes that hit the country,

The Philippines has been marked by destructive typhoons that affected key food production areas around the country, the strongest being Typhoon Yolanda that slammed Eastern and Western Visayas. These areas are major producers of high-value crops such as coconut, rice and abaca.

In October, Typhoon Santi slammed Northern and Central Luzon in October, destroying tons of palay and other crops in its path.

Other devastating storms that hit the country last year were Labuyo, Odette and Vinta.

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