June 23, 2021

The livestock sector’s revival is expected to boost agricultural development

Agriculture Secretary William Dar expects a rebound in agricultural growth after the cattle industry has fully recovered.

Dar highlighted numerous achievements of the government in a video briefing on Tuesday, despite the “perfect storm” of successive severe typhoons ravaging farmlands, the eruption of Taal Volcano destroying agricultural supplies, and limited movement owing to pandemic procedures.

“In all, pag mayroon na tayong lunas sa African swine fever (ASF), at idagdag mo na ang contribution of livestock and poultry, which is more than 23% of the gross value added in agriculture, ang ganda na ng pag-angat ng sector ng agrikultura, ang ganda na ng pag-angat ng

Dar stated in a slide shown during his briefing that the economic performance of the Philippines’ three major sectors — Industry, Service, and Agriculture — has all declined, although agriculture has the least negative growth at -1.2 percent.

Agriculture, Dar added, is still forecasting “almost neutral growth” as compared to the industrial and services sectors, which both gained -4.7 percent and -4.4 percent, respectively.

“All agricultural sub-sectors grew, but the livestock sub-sector was pushed down,” he added.

Rice (8.6 percent), maize (6.4 percent), coffee (12.3 percent), chocolate (11.4 percent), pineapple (5.3 percent), mango (4.1 percent), and cattle were the top agricultural subsectors in the first quarter of 2021. (-23.2 percent).

The hog sector seems to be recovering, since previous reports said that Batangas Province had already been certified ASF-free.

Dar said that after the regions have been cleared of ASF, authorities would create a certification that will allow them to go to banks and borrow money for the planned recovery.

Ten commercial swine farms took part in the ASF vaccination studies, which began in April 2021. The trials will last 84 days, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry, and will follow the existing procedures established by the government technical working group and vaccine producer Zoetis Philippines, Inc.

Meanwhile, the country’s record-high rice production performance contributed to the agricultural sector’s resilience throughout the global crisis.

Rice output is expected to reach 19.4 million metric tons in 2020. It is the highest in the country’s history.

“It might be regarded the Duterte administration’s greatest lasting legacy,” Dar added.

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