For 3rd consecutive year, farm output shrinks

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THE Philippines’s farm output last year was reduced by 0.1 percent on an annual basis to P1.75 trillion at constant 2018 prices as better livestock and poultry productions offset contractions in crops and fisheries.

The value of the country’s agricultural output last year was P1.935 billion lower than the P1.758 trillion recorded amount in 2021, according to the latest report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

PSA data showed that this is now the third consecutive year that the country’s agricultural sector contracted.

However, this was also the closest performance of the agricultural sector in reaching a positive growth following the 1.7-percent and 1.2-percent contractions in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

The last time farm output grew was in 2019 at a rate of merely 0.3 percent, based on historical PSA data.

Growth in the livestock and poultry subsectors, the data also showed, buoyed the overall performance of the agricultural sector as output of crops and fisheries declined year-on-year.

PSA data showed that livestock output grew by 1.9 percent on an annual basis, the first time in four years that it recorded a positive performance since the devastation caused by African swine fever (ASF) in domestic hog farms.

Meanwhile, the poultry industry rebounded with 7-percent growth after contracting by 0.3 percent and 3.5 percent in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

The crop subsector fell by 1 percent on an annual basis due to the impact of typhoons on farms and reduced application of planting inputs by farmers because of higher than usual costs. The fisheries subsector, meanwhile, declined by 5 percent year-on-year.

Palay production last year declined by 210,000 metric tons to 19.75 million metric tons (MMT) from the record-high volume 19.96 MMT posted in 2021, PSA data showed. Corn output, likewise, fell by 45,000 MT to 8.255 MMT from 8.3 MMT in 2021.

Hog output grew for the first time in four years, reaching 1.737 MMT last year. The volume was 2.4 percent higher than the 1.696 MMT recorded output in 2021, based on PSA data.

Chicken meat production last year also recovered posting a 7-percent increase in growth. Chicken meat output reached 1.866 MMT compared to the 1.744 MMT recorded in 2021.

At current prices, however, the value of the country’s agricultural output last year rose by 7.5 percent to P2.144 trillion from P1.995 trillion in 2021, according to the PSA.