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Agriculture in the Philippines expanded by 2.1% in the first quarter.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced on Wednesday that the total value of production in the agriculture and fisheries sector increased by 2.1 percent in the first quarter of the year.

According to the PSA, the value of production increased from PHP419.96 billion in 2017 to PHP428.69 billion in 2018 when prices remained constant.

Dennis Mapa, PSA Undersecretary, and National Statistician stated that “this was due to the annual increases in the value of production of crops, livestock, poultry, and fisheries.”

Crop value increased by 1.7 percent to PHP247.76 billion from PHP243.65 billion a year earlier.

Additionally, the overall value of animal production increased by 4.1 percent to PHP61.65 billion in the first quarter of 2022 from PHP59.21 billion.

output of poultry, valued at PHP64.94 billion, increased by 3.2 percent from PHP62.96 billion the year before, and output of fisheries, valued at PHP54.32 billion, up marginally from PHP54.14 billion.

According to the PSA, the production of palay and maize increased by 5.2 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively, in terms of volume.

Production of hogs and cattle increased by 5.1 and 1.9 percent, respectively.

However, there were declines in the productivity of the carabao (-1.2%), goat (-3.6%), and dairy (-11.4%).

According to the PSA, chicken output increased by 3.3%, chicken eggs increased by 2.8%, and duck eggs increased by 3.8%.

During the quarter, it was also reported that production of milkfish, tilapia, yellowfin tuna, squid, alimasag, and lapu-lapu increased.

Michael Ricafort, the chief economist of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), attributed the increase in agriculture during the quarter to favorable weather.

“Furthermore, higher prices globally and locally led to higher prices of some agricultural products, thereby also partly adding to the year-on-year growth in terms of value,” he said in a Viber message to the Philippine News Agency.

According to Ricafort, the accelerated growth in agricultural output will promote accelerated economic growth.

“The government’s continued intervention measures on agriculture, such as increased mechanization, use of more resilient, higher-yielding seeds, better irrigation facilities, more cold storage facilities, more farm-to-market roads, and better logistics, among others, would still help support continued growth in agriculture to further boost local output, lower importation, lower local food prices, and lower overall inflation,” he said.

According to Ricafort, these initiatives will also aid in preparing for El Nio, which may result in decreased agricultural output and higher agricultural costs.

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