Agriculture production shrank 1.27 percent in the second quarter year-on-year, pulled down by lower rice, corn, coconut and sugarcane harvests amid the prolonged El Niño dry spell.
The sector which accounts for about a tenth of the gross domestic product also contracted 0.24 percent in the first half, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.
Total agriculture and fishery production reached P424.6 billion in the second quarter and P853.5 billion in the first half based on current prices.
Data showed that while the livestock, poultry and fisheries subsectors grew in the second quarter, the expansion was offset by the 5.7-percent drop in crop production.
“Palay and corn recorded decreases in production by 5.82 percent and 8.73 percent, respectively,” the PSA said.
Coconut production dropped 0.76 percent while sugarcane harvest plunged by nearly 60 percent.
“Of all the crops, sugarcane production dropped 59.62 percent as smaller canes were harvested in Western Visayas and Calabarzon because of the adverse effects of a long dry spell,” it said.
Other crops such as onion, garlic, mango, tobacco, rubber, eggplant, pineapple and abaca increased in the second quarter.
It said that at current prices, the value of crops production amounted to P215.5 billion in the second quarter or 11.09 percent lower than a year ago. The crops subsector accounted for more than 47 percent of the agriculture output.
The PSA said rice production declined because of reductions in harvested areas in Mimaropa Region, Bicol Region and Western Visayas caused by the inadequate water supply and rainfall during the planting months and the effect of the dry spell. The lower corn output was also affected by the same factors, according to the PSA.
Livestock production, which accounted for 17.41 percent of the total agricultural output, grew 3.2 percent on the sustained demand for pork, allowing hog production to record a 4.1-percent growth. Cattle production went down by 1.9 percent.
Poultry output increased 4.14 percent in the second quarter and accounted for 17.75 percent of the total agricultural production. Farm expansion, particularly, the commercial broiler farms in Central Luzon, Central Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula contributed to the 3.1-percent growth in chicken production.
Fisheries production which accounted for 17.41 percent of the total agricultural output grew 1.9 percent in the second quarter, led by higher production of tilapia, roundscad and tiger prawns.
Farmgate prices declined by 3.98 percent in the second quarter, as crops registered an average price reduction of 5.72 percent.