November 7, 2019


Philippine farm output rises in Q3, but farmer profits fall 



Agricultural production grew in the third quarter at the fastest rate in two years, but failed to raise farmer incomes, CNN Philippines reported.


Farm output rose by 2.87% in Q3 2019, compared to a 0.87% contraction in July-September 2018 amid greater produce for crops, livestock, poultry, and fisheries, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said. This is also the fastest growth since the 6.22% rise seen in Q2 2017.


However, agricultural products were valued less last quarter at just ₱395.3 billion (US$7.81 billion; ₱1 = US$0.02), down 3.6% from last year.


Crop production, which accounts for 45% of total output, saw a growth of 2% led by corn, which surged 23.5% year-on-year.


The resurgence of corn came from planters in the Cagayan Valley, with the PSA citing their recovery from Typhoon Ompong in 2018. Some cassava and sugarcane farmers also converted land to corn.


For swine, production expanded 1.86% in the third quarter against the African swine fever (ASF) scare.


The PSA noted reports that more pigs are being slaughtered in Cagayan Valley, Mimaropa, and the Zamboanga Peninsula as a disease prevention measure, with ASF spreading in some parts of Luzon.


Dairy supply rose by 6.5%, while chicken production saw a higher growth of 20% in response to higher demand.


"Chicken served as substitute for pork due to outbreak of African swine fever," the PSA said. National Statistician Dennis Mapa said earlier this week that prices of chicken and beef are up in some regions, while pork rates have dipped as people avoid the meat.


Meanwhile, fish supply, which accounts for 16.7% of total agricultural output, inched up 0.56%. Bangus (milkfish) recovered to post a 13.1% climb, while tilapia production fell by about 6% last quarter due to low survival rates in freshwater cages.