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Agriculture surprises with 2.98% growth in third quarter

1.53% decline in 9 months

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By Madelaine B. Miraflor

The agriculture sector managed to pull off a surprise – an impressive recovery of nearly 3 percent in the third quarter of the year – but this trend may not last longer as the impact of recent typhoons were not yet taken into account in the latest data.

Data from Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) yesterday showed  that agriculture sector posted a 2.98 percent growth in the third quarter of 2016.

For the period January to September, agricultural output dropped by 1.53 percent.

At current prices, gross value of agricultural production amounted to R360.9 billion, higher by 7.33 percent than last year’s record.

While Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol lauded the Q3 growth, he said there may still be a slight downtrend in the fourth quarter of the year due to Typhoon Lawin and Typhoon Karen that badly hit some regions in the country last month.

“I think so. But [the decline] would not be much in the fourth quarter [compared to previous quarters],” Piñol said in a text message. “I expect good harvest next planting season.”

The growth seen in the third quarter wasn’t able to offset the decline felt in the first six months of the year.

According to PSA data, latest output increments during the period were noted in the crops, livestock and poultry subsectors.

The crops subsector specifically grew by 5.24 percent in the third quarter of 2016, accounting for 45.63 percent of total agricultural output.

Production of palay and corn increased by 16.35 percent and 10.61 percent, respectively, while improvements in production were also recorded for pineapple, tobacco, abaca, mongo, cassava, tomato, cabbage and eggplant.

“This was due to increase in harvested areas which was attributed to the rehabilitation of irrigation canals and early occurrence of rains in Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and Northern Mindanao.

For the first nine months, crop production decreased by 3.60 percent.

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