The agriculture sector, which accounts for about a tenth of the gross domestic product, grew 2.1 percent in the first quarter from a year ago on increased production of crops, livestock, poultry and fisheries, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Wednesday.
This followed the 1-percent contraction in farm and fisheries output in the fourth quarter and the 0.3-percent decline in the first quarter of 2022.
“At current prices, the value of production in agriculture and fisheries at P611.52 billion was 9.4 percent higher than the previous year’s level,” the PSA said.
Data showed that harvests of crops, representing 57.8 percent of the total value of agriculture production, rose 1.7 percent in the first quarter. Palay and corn grew by 5.2 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
Other crops that showed increased harvests were tobacco, onion, cassava, cabbage, abaca, mango, coconut, coffee, ampalaya and banana.
Sugarcane output fell 17 percent in the first quarter. The PSA also noted declines in the production of sweet potato, rubber, potato, pineapple, mongo, cacao, eggplant and calamansi in the three-month period.
Meanwhile, livestock production, with 14.4-percent share in total value of production, also showed an annual growth of 4.1 percent in the quarter. Hog production increased 5.1 percent, while cattle output improved by 1.9 percent.
Poultry production, with 15.1 percent share in total farm output, went up by 3.2 percent at constant prices in the first three months. All poultry commodities, except duck which recorded a decline of 0.3 percent, recorded annual growths in their value of production, the PSA said.
Meanwhile, fisheries production, representing 12.7 percent of the sector, rose 0.3 percent from January to March.
The PSA noted double-digit growth for squid at 18.2 percent, tilapia at 10.8 percent and blue crab at 10.5 percent.
Production increments on milkfish, big-eyed scad, yellowfin tuna, grouper and skipjack contributed to the overall fisheries output in the first quarter.
Mudcrab, bigeye tuna, frigate tuna, slipmouth, tiger prawn, threadfin bream, Indian Mackerel, cavalla, roundscad, fimbriated sardines and bali sardinella, locally known as tamban, saw lower production.
Seaweed, one of the country’s prized fishery exports, recorded 10-percent decline in first-quarter production.