Philippine economy
In this undated file photo, farmer harvests the rice from the field.
The STAR/Andy G. Zapata Jr., File photo
Agriculture output slightly grew in 2019
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - January 22, 2020 - 2:31pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ agriculture sector barely grew in 2019 and missed the government’s target for the year, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported Wednesday.

Agricultural production grew 0.4% in the final three months of 2019, lower than 1.9% growth recorded in the same period in 2018.

That brought the full-year average to 0.7%, a tad higher than 0.6% registered in 2018. The government had hoped for a 2% growth rate in 2019.

The crops and live stock subsectors contracted in 2019 while poultry and fisheries managed to grow.

"In the last quarter of 2019, we were hit badly by ASF and continuing. On top of that, we had strong typhoons that disturbed the sector,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.

“At least I can comment on the 2nd semester of 2019. We have 1.64% growth. With higher budget and good implementation of the programs and projects, we hope to have a better performance of the sector in 2020,” Dar added.

Agriculture production has historically contributed about a tenth to gross domestic product and accounted for a fourth of employed persons.

Dar has said he wants to grow the sector by 3%-4% by the end of the Duterte administration to achieve greater food security and break a long spell of weak growth that had been a drag on the economy.

The government will release the fourth quarter and full-year 2019 gross domestic product data on Thursday, January 23.

PHILIPPINE AGRICULTURE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY
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