Agriculture and fishery production, which accounts for less than a tenth of the gross domestic product, contracted 0.3 percent in the first quarter on lower rice and corn harvests, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.
The PSA released the report ahead of the gross domestic product data announcement on Thursday.
“Poultry registered expansion during the period while crops, livestock, and fisheries posted declines in the value of production,” the PSA said.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar attributed the decline to the spiraling cost of farm inputs, particularly fertilizer. “We need additional fertilizer subsidy for the coming wet season. We got the support of the President, saying he will provide us with additional funds,” he said.
Prices of fertilizers almost tripled in the last 2 years. On top of the P4-billion subsidy which was earmarked earlier, the DA expects an additional P6 billion, for a total of P10 billion fertilizer support for farmers.
Crops registered a 1.6-percent drop in harvests in the first quarter and accounted for 58 percent of the total value of production in agriculture and fisheries. Palay and corn decreased by 1.9 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.