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Agriculture sector ekes out 0.5% marginal growth in Q2

The country’s farm sector managed to eke out a growth of 0.5 percent in the second quarter of the year, but Agriculture Secretary William Dar remained hopeful that despite the pandemic, agriculture production could still grow by 1.5 percent by the end of 2020.

Such forecast is lower than Dar’s earlier 2020 growth target of 2 percent, but it is still ambitious in a sense that if achieved, it would end the years of either decline or sluggish growth that the agriculture sector only managed to pull off.

In 2019, the country’s agriculture sector grew only by 0.7 percent throughout the year, only slightly higher than the annual growth level of 0.6 percent recorded in 2018.

During his ‘State of Philippine Agriculture’ address on Wednesday, Dar said the Department of Agriculture (DA) is still hoping to achieve a growth of at least 1.5 percent for the agriculture sector, following the release of a Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data showing that farm output slightly inched up by 0.5 percent from April to June.

“Can we still achieve a growth of 2 percent for this year? I always say that by the mercy of God and with the continuous hard-work of farmers, fishermen, and businessmen in the agriculture sector, we will almost be there,” Dar said.

“But with the pandemic, it will be hard. So my answer is we hope that we can still reach at least 1.5 percent,” he added.

A growth of 0.5 percent for the agriculture sector during the second quarter of this year is a recovery from a decline of 1.4 percent during the same period last year.

According to PSA, this happened as production in crops and fisheries recorded increases, offsetting the decline recorded in livestock and poultry.

At current prices, the value of agricultural production amounted to P439.8 billion. This was 4.6 percent higher than the previous year’s level.

To be specific, crops, which accounted for 53.7 percent of the total agricultural output, registered a 5.0-percent growth in production, thanks to the output growth of 7.1 percent and 15.4 percent recorded for palay and corn, respectively.

The value of crop production at current prices amounted to P237.8 billion, or 13.6 percent more this quarter.

In the first six months of 2020, crops recorded a 1.1 percent growth in output.  

Fisheries production, on the other hand, inched up 0.9 percent, accounting for 16.0 percent of the total agricultural output.

The value of fisheries production at current prices amounted to P73.1 billion, representing a 2.6 percent drop from the previous year’s record. 

In the first six months of 2020, fisheries production declined by 0.7 percent.  

Meanwhile, livestock, which accounted for the 17.3 percent of the total agricultural production, registered an 8.5 percent contraction in output, with hog production falling by 5.2 percent amid the persistence of African Swine Fever (ASF).

At current prices, the value of livestock production at P73.8 billion was lower by 7.4 percent compared to the previous year’s level.

In the first half of 2020, a 4.5 percent decline in livestock production was recorded.

Poultry, which contributed 13.0 percent to the total agricultural output, also dropped by 4.7 percent.

At current prices, the value of poultry production amounted to P55.1 billion and it corresponded to a 2.6 percent decrease this quarter.

From January to June, poultry output went down by 2.3 percent.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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