Agriculture production rebounded 6.2 percent in the second quarter from a contraction of 2.21 percent a year ago, which likely boosted the gross domestic product during the period.
This followed the 5.26-percent expansion in the first quarter of the agriculture sector, which accounts for more than a tenth of GDP. The Philippine Statistics Authority is expected to release the second-quarter GDP data Thursday.
Data from PSA showed the agriculture sector grew 5.7 percent in the first half, a turnaround from a 3.48-percent contraction in the same period last year.
The PSA said at current prices, the gross value of agricultural production in the second quarter reached P422.4 billion, up 11.4 percent from P379 billion recorded a year ago.
The crops subsector grew 11.72 percent in April to June, rebounding from a 4.98-percent contraction a year earlier. Rice production surged 11.7 percent to 4.15 million metric tons of palay in the second quarter from 3.71 million MT in the same quarter in 2016.
Rice production was boosted by expanded harvest areas and improvements in yield in Cagayan Valley, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Soccksargen and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“The increase in harvest areas of palay was due to the sufficient supply of irrigation water and nationwide distribution of hybrid and inbred certified seeds and fertilizers by the DA-LGUs,” the PSA said.
Corn production jumped 45.97 percent in the second quarter to 1.33 million MT from 911,000 MT a year earlier, on ample water supply, seed distribution of high-yielding varieties, expanded harvest areas and yield improvement.
Coconut also bounced back from its negative growth last year and came up with a 0.68-percent increase this year to 3.20 million MT from 3.18 million MT.
The poultry sector expanded 8.36 percent in the second quarter, with chicken production alone increasing 9.32 percent. This was recorded ahead of the bird flu outbreak declared by the Agriculture Department in Pampanga province this month.
Livestock production fell 1.38 percent in the second quarter, from an expansion of 6.55 percent a year ago, as carabao, cattle and goat production went down.
“There was a drop in the number of animals slaughtered as farms were keeping their stocks for breeding purposes to be used as draft animals. Lesser slaughtering of animals can be traced to the lower stocks of marketable size available for disposal while the stocks of some animals were preserved for breeding purposes,” the PSA said.
Fishery production declined 2.9 percent in the second quarter, on lower catch of tiger prawn, roundscad and yellowfin tuna.
“ There were reports of on-going repairs of some fish aggregative devices or ‘payaos.’ The strict implementation of fishery laws limited the frequency of fishing operations of commercial boats in most provinces of Eastern Visayas,” the PSA said.