Agriculture Posts 4.68% Growth in 2007 - DA
Byline: MARVYN N. BENANING
Philippine agriculture did not exceed the maximum 5 percent growth target for 2007, settling for only 4.68 percent, but still within the range projected by government planners.
For the last quarter, growth was pegged at 5.65 percent, an increase that raised both volume and output in spite of what the Department of Agriculture (DA) said was a deleterious dry spell that hit key production regions in Northern, Central, and Southern Luzon. However, the overall growth rate for the past year is still higher than the 2006 expansion of 3.84 percent.
Volume of production for agriculture and fisheries combined went up 4.68 percent in 2007, leading to a year-on-year 9.37 percent incremental increase in gross value to R971. 8 billion at current prices, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said, based on the official report of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).
Fisheries and aquaculture were the main growth driver for 2007, expanding 6.81 percent in production volume and contributing 25.44 percent or a fourth of total farm output for the year. "Agriculture grew by 4.68 percent during the period January to December, 2007," Yap said, quoting from the BAS report. "The fisheries subsector remained as the leading gainer during the reference period."
"The crops subsector also performed well," he said. "Livestock and poultry production managed to surpass the previous year's levels. Based on current prices, the gross value of the crop subsector, including palay and corn, went up 11.03 percent last year to R510.3 billion, while that of the fishery subsector jumped 10.58 percent to R180.7 billion.
Gross value of livestock and poultry production shot up, respectively, by 5.04 percent to R163.2 billion and by 6.77 percent to R117.7 billion in 2007 at current prices, BAS said.
At current prices, palay harvests went up 5.96 percent to 16.24 million metric tons with a 12.16 percent hike in gross value to R182.052 billion, while corn output increased by 10.77 percent to 6.736 million MT with a 21.04 percent hike in total value to R65.887 billion.
Yap said he is still optimistic that in the next three years, agricultural growth would be in the range of 4 percent and 5. …