Thursday, January 5, 2012
The country’s farm sector could increase its output by 3 percent to 4 percent if the Philippines will not be hit by typhoons as strong as “Pedring” in 2012, the University of Asia and the Pacific’s Center for Food and Agribusiness (UAP-CFA) said.
UAP-CFA Executive Director Rolando T. Dy said the crops subsector which include palay and corn would drive farm growth for 2012. The poultry and aquaculture sectors will also boost the output of the sector.
“A 3 percent to 4 percent growth is doable under normal weather in 2012. But if we get hit by another Pedring-type typhoon, the farm sector may be hard pressed to grow by this much,” said Dy in a text message.
For 2011, the government has already scaled down its growth expectations for the farm sector to a range of 3 percent to 3.5 percent due to the destruction caused by typhoons in the last quarter of the year.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) had expected farm growth for 2011 to reach 5 percent “barring any adverse conditions.”
Figures from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) showed that the country’s farm sector grew by 4.28 percent on the back of the good performance of the crops subsector in January to September.
The combined good performance of palay and corn caused the production of the crops subsector to increase by 9.04 percent during the period. The subsector accounted for 50 percent of total farm output. The production of palay alone accounts for around 15 percent of farm output at any given time.
Palay production reached 10.75 million metric tons (MMT), 16 percent higher than what was produced in January to September last year. Corn output also grew by almost 16 percent to 5.49 MMT.
For the whole of 2011, however, the DA said the Philippines will be hard pressed to produce more than 17 million metric tons (MMT) of unmilled rice due to the havoc wreaked by a number of typhoons in the second half.
Documents from the DA revealed that the six typhoons that ravaged the Philippines from June to October last year destroyed a total of 902,285 metric tons (MT) of unmilled rice.
Because of the adverse impact of the typhoons, the “Rice and Corn Situation Outlook” released by the BAS showed that palay production for the whole of 2011 will reach 16.68 MMT, lower than the initial projection of 17.4 MMT.
BAS said paddy rice output for July to December may decline by 0.6 percent year on year. Unmilled rice production for the period is seen at 9.1 MMT.
For the main harvest during the months of October to December, the attached agency of the DA said output may settle at 5.93 MMT, 8.8 percent lower than last year’s level of 6.5 MMT based on standing crops.
Typhoons Pedring and Quiel, BAS noted, will cause the harvest area to contract by 8.6 percent and yield per hectare to go down by 0.3 percent.
By Business Mirror
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