Agriculture and fishery production, which accounts for less than a fifth of the gross domestic product, grew by 0.56 percent in 2018, slower than the 4-percent expansion in 2017, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.
The PSA said the sector expanded 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter, following a 0.8-percent contraction in the third quarter. The latest figure is expected to lift the gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter.
The PSA revised downward the third-quarter gross domestic product growth to 6 percent from an earlier estimate of 6.1 percent. It will release the fourth-quarter and full-year GDP data Thursday.
“Agriculture grew by 1.80 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. Crops, livestock, poultry and fisheries contributed to the higher production during the quarter,” the PSA said.
Data showed that poultry posted the fastest growth of 5.75 percent among the four sub-sectors in 2018. Livestock grew 1.89 percent. Crop production fell 1 percent, while fisheries sank 1.13 percent.
The PSA said that at current prices, the gross value of agricultural production reached P1.82 trillion in 2019, up by 6.2 percent from P1.71 trillion in 2017.
Figures in the fourth quarter of 2018 showed that all sub-sectors including crops, livestock, poultry and fisheries contributed to the higher production during the period.
Crops production slightly increased 0.25 percent, accounting for 50.4 percent of the total agricultural output, despite a slight decrease in palay production by 2.20 percent. Corn production increased 10.82 percent.
Increases in production were registered by coconut, banana, pineapple, coffee, mango, tobacco, abaca, mongo, tomato, onion, cabbage and rubber.
Livestock registered a 1.64-percent increase in October to December. It contributed 17.74 percent to the total agricultural production in the final three months of 2018.
Meanwhile, poultry production expanded 7 percent in the fourth quarter, accounting for 16.18 percent to the total agricultural output.
Fisheries production went up 1.93 percent in the fourth quarter, but was not enough to cover for the full-year decline of 1.13 percent.
The PSA said the average farm gate prices improved 2.22 percent in the fourth quarter. Price increments were noted for crops at 1.94 percent, livestock at 5.69 percent and fisheries at 7.80 percent. Poultry recorded an average price drop of 4.91 percent.
The PSA said that in the whole of 2018, farm gate prices went up by an average of 5.62 percent.