SEARCA publishes 12-vol monograph on agri dev’t

(The Philippine Star) - January 12, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has published a 12-volume monograph series that focuses on the improvement of productivity in Philippine agriculture to ensure that it can compete in regional and global trade. 

SEARCA director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. said the monograph series, entitled “Productivity Growth in Philippine Agriculture (PGPA),” was the result of SEARCA’s joint project with the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). 

“The project analyzed the productivity growth in Philippine agriculture by disaggregating the sources of growth over time using analytical approaches appropriate to Philippine conditions,” Saguiguit explained. 

He noted that each monograph also identified the policy and investment options that could serve as the fulcrum for formulating strategies for stimulating agricultural growth. 

Saguiguit added that each monograph tackles a specific sector of agriculture and analyzes the factors that hasten productivity growth. 

The SEARCA director revealed that recent studies have suggested that the agricultural sector faltered starting in the 1980s after performing relatively well from the 1960s to the 1970s. 

“Sector growth decelerated and public sector investment in agriculture declined. By the turn of the current century, Philippine agriculture was no longer considered a major contributor to the country’s aggregate economic growth. This lackluster performance in productivity growth is considered a major constraint in the sector’s development,” Saguiguit said. 

A total of 12 components of the agricultural sector were examined and different scenarios were studied to formulate a framework for the overall state of Philippine agriculture. 

Saguiguit added that the studies sought to uncover “the determinants of productivity over time and identify policy and investment levers relevant in formulating strategies for agricultural growth by measuring and disaggregating its sources.” 

Lastly, Saguiguit said, the project in general tried to find out the indicators for past performances and how they can influence future productivity growth in the Philippines.

The 12 monographs in the series are: Productivity in the Rice Sector in Philippine Agriculture; Total Factor Productivity (TFP) Growth in the Philippine Coconut and Sugarcane Subsectors; Productivity Growth in the Philippine Hog and Poultry Industries; Growth of Aquaculture Productivity in the Philippines; Measuring and Explaining TFP Growth and Patterns in Philippine Agriculture: A Regional Panel Data Framework; Investments in Research, Development and Extension: Implications on TFP; The Impact of Infrastructure on Agricultural Productivity; Agricultural Productivity Growth and Environmental Externalities in the Philippines; Human Capital and Agricultural Productivity: The Case of the Philippines;  Institutions, Social Capital and Productivity Growth in Philippine Agriculture; and Scenarios and Options for Productivity Growth in Philippine Agriculture: An Application of the Agricultural Multi-market Model for Policy Evaluation (AMPLE).

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