Agri sector posts 2.4% growth in Quarter 1
- by Rommel Ynion () - May 11, 2001 - 12:00am
Propped up by favorable weather conditions, an improved peace and order situation in Mindanao and sustained efforts by the Department of Agriculture, the country’s agriculture and fishery sector registered a 2.39-percent growth during the first quarter this year. Total value of production was estimated at P159.4 billion.

In a report to President Arroyo, Agriculture Secretary Leonardo Q. Montemayor said the four major subsectors – crops, livestock, poultry and fishery – posted higher output levels during the first three months of the year.

"In particular, the crops subsector bounced back from previous year’s slump despite the slowdown in the production of palay, tobacco, abaca and other fibercrops, legumes and root crops," Montemayor reported to the President.

"This (crops subsector) was boosted by the recovery and output gains among corn, pineapple, coffee and mango. There was also an upward trend in garlic production," Montemayor said.

However, he pointed out that the sub-sectors’ gains in productivity have been eroded by cuts in farmgate prices, with the gross output dropping 4.78 percent to P89.4 billion at current prices.The livestock subsector, Montemayor said, grew by 2.55 percent this year, with gains in carabao, hog, and dairy industries offsetting the downward trend in cattle and goat production.

The livestock subsector grossed P26.2 billion at current prices, up by 7.33 percent from last year, while the poultry subsector growing by 4.37 percent.

"Except for chicken eggs, all the components recorded output increases, albeit slower than last year’s indications," Montemayor said, adding that the gross value of production amounted to P19.9 billion at current prices, up by 17.43 percent compared to year -ago figures.

As for the fishery subsector, he reported a 2.97-percent increase in productivity this year with outputs from commercial and municipal fisheries accelerating by 4.47 and 4.78 percent, respectively.

Montemayor said aquaculture sustained an uptrend in production with gross output of fisheries valued at P23.9 billion at current prices, up by 8.6 percent from the same period last year.

He also reported that the one-percent average cut in this year’s prices signified a declining trend in farmgate prices with the over-all loss triggered by the 6.26-percent average decrease in the farmgate prices of agricultural crops.

"On the other hand, poultry and fishery producers enjoyed price recovery. Livestock prices continued to go up," Montemayor said.

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