August 15, 2008


Philippine 1H farm output up 4.7 percent on-year



Philippine farm output grew 4.7 percent on year in the first six months of 2008, driven mainly by the bountiful harvest of major crops that include rice, corn and sugarcane, the Department of Agriculture said Friday (August 15).


In the first six months of 2007, agriculture output grew 3.74 percent.


The crops sub-sector posted the biggest output growth with a 7.72 percent expansion, due to substantial gains in the production of paddy rice, corn and sugarcane output, which improved by 6 percent, 20 percent and 32 percent, respectively. The sub-sector contributed 48 percent of total farm output.


The poultry sub-sector, accounting for 12 percent of total output, posted a gain of 5.65 percent while the fisheries sub-sector, with a 27 percent share, improved by 2.74 percent.


Only the livestock sub-sector registered a contraction, with output declining by 3.33 percent.


The growth is well within the agriculture department's output target of 4 to 5 percent for 2008.


Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, however, had earlier expressed concern about farm output in the second half of the year as the surging cost of petroleum-based fertilizer could derail projected output gains in major crops.


Agriculture accounts for around one-fifth of gross domestic product but employs nearly four in every 10 Filipinos.

Strong growth in the farm sector usually boosts overall gross domestic product.


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