Agriculture remained economic laggard in past 5 years

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Despite earlier pronouncements that the Duterte administration will usher in the “golden age” of Philippine agriculture, the latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report showed the sector’s performance over the past five years had been disappointing.

It also has been the consistent lowest contributor to the economy at an average of 9.92 percent yearly against the industry and services sectors that contributed 30 percent and 60 percent on average, respectively.

The PSA, in its Agricultural Indicators System for Economic Growth, studied figures between 2016 and 2020, with 2018 as the baseline year. It aims to gauge the development of the sector and pinpoint what can be done to improve its performance.

Looking at the gross value added (GVA) for each commodity, it showed declines across the livestock, poultry and fisheries subsectors for the last five years. Only the crops subsector was able to log growth of 1.5 percent in 2020.

Put simply, the GVA provides the peso value for the amount of goods and services produced by the industry after deducting the cost of inputs and raw materials.

As for the GVA of the industry per major island group, Visayas and Mindanao registered growth rates of 4.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, while Luzon slid by 3.1 percent.

The lowest declines in GVAs were recorded in Calabarzon at 6.6 and Central Luzon, 5 percent.

Several factors may be blamed for this, including the African swine fever outbreak that swept away hog production in Luzon, but the coronavirus pandemic may have been the biggest blow as its disruption was felt across the entire value chain. INQ


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