he agriculture sector expanded by 6.18 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, bringing the first-half growth to 5.72 percent, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed.
Value of farm production amounted to P210 billion (at constant prices or after adjusting for the effects of inflation), sustaining its growth from the first quarter after a series of declines in 2016.
The agriculture sector shrank 2.34 percent in the same period last year due to a prolonged dry spell and damage caused by typhoons “Lando” and “Nona.”
According to the PSA, the different sub-sectors showed mixed results in the second quarter, with crops and poultry growing while livestock and fishery posting production declines.
Crops remained the biggest contributor to total agricultural production with a share of 50.75 percent. Production grew by 11.72 percent to P231.61 billion, driven by favorable weather conditions and the use of good quality seeds.
It noted that an improvement in production and price caused the turnaround in gross earnings of garlic, which grew by 101.91 percent amid the alleged resurgence of the garlic cartel.
The livestock sub-sector’s total output declined by 1.38 percent.
Except for dairy, all components of the sub-sector recorded output losses. The drop in the number of animals slaughtered were seen as a factor as farms were keeping stocks for breeding purposes to be used as draft animals.
Production in the fisheries sub-sector also declined by 2.93 percent as the strict implementation of the “no registration, no fishing” policy and other laws affected the volume of unloadings and the frequency of fishing operations in some provinces.
At current prices, the sub-sector still grossed P63.51 billion, 4.4-percent higher year-on-year.
On the average, farm-gate prices went up by 4.93 percent during the second quarter as price increments were recorded in all sub-sectors. The first half of the year recorded an increase in prices by an average 4.17 percent.