Dar sees agri performance turnaround in Q4

Dar sees agri performance turnaround in Q4

MANILA – Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar is bullish on the performance of the agriculture sector in the last quarter (Q4) of the year despite the dip in livestock that pulled down its performance in the third quarter (Q3).

“We expect a better performance this fourth quarter, barring no major typhoons would visit us till yearend,” Dar said in a statement late Tuesday.

“We hope to post at least a one-percent growth this year, despite the many challenges we faced, and look forward to a more respectable performance in 2022, in continued partnerships with the local government units, the private sector, and organized small farmers’ and fishers’ groups and cooperatives,” he added.

The DA initially took pride in the high gains in the production of palay (unhusked rice) and poultry subsectors, but these were not enough to pull up the performance of the country’s agriculture and fishery sectors in the third quarter of 2021.

According to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released Monday, it showed that the value of production in agriculture and fisheries at constant 2018 prices decreased by 2.6 percent in the third quarter of the year from a growth of 0.7 percent in the same period last year.

“Despite said performance of the agri-fishery sector in the third quarter, we are heartened that palay production has remained on track, increasing its value by 6.7 percent,” Dar said.

“Further, our broiler raisers and chicken and duck egg producers are taking the cudgel, as the value of poultry production grew by 1.3 percent, while chicken and duck egg output increased by 8.1 percent and 7 percent, respectively, based on PSA estimates,” he added.

On the other hand, the livestock subsector posted a -15.2 percent decrease in value of production, weighed down by the hog industry’s 17.8-percent negative performance due to the continuing scourge of the African swine fever (ASF) pandemic.

The PSA report further said that palay production for the first nine months of the year is expected to reach 12.53 million metric tons (MMT), combining the first semester output of 8.8 MMT and projected third quarter harvest of 3.73 MMT, based on standing crops in August.

Said projected harvest for the third quarter is 5 percent more than the palay output of 11.9 MMT for the same period last year.

Meanwhile, increasing the country’s corn production continues to be a big challenge, Dar said, as the projected 6.28-MMT harvest for the nine-month period this year, combining the actual first semester harvest and estimated yield in the third quarter, is three percent less than the same period in 2020 at 6.47 MMT.

He said the government will “work harder” to help the sector achieve growth in output in the fourth quarter of the year.

“We will continue to do much more during the last quarter of the year,” he added. (PNA) 

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