Agriculture production rebounded 0.5 percent in the second quarter from the 1.2-percent contraction in the first quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Wednesday.
“Agriculture managed to grow by 0.5 percent in the second quarter of 2020, despite the pandemic. Production in crops and fisheries recorded increases while livestock and poultry posted declines,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said during a virtual report on agriculture.
Crops, which accounted for 53.7 of total agricultural sector, registered a 5-percent growth in production, to about P237.37 billion at constant prices, from P226 billion in the second quarter of 2019.
Data, however, showed values declined 3.1 percent from the first quarter figure of P239.87 billion. Total production values from January to June reached P477.24 billion.
Production of palay, the country’s staple, increased by 7.1 percent to 4.12 million metric tons in the second quarter from 4 million MT a year ago, while corn harvests went up by 15.4 percent to 1.35 million MT from 1.28 million MT.
Livestock production, which accounted for 17.3 percent of the total agricultural output, contracted by 8.5 percent to P76.48 billion in the second quarter from P79.22 billion in 2019. The subsector registered P154.56 billion in terms of output values from January to June.
Meanwhile, the poultry subsector reported a decline of 4.7 percent in output to P57.53 billion in the second quarter from P60.4 billion a year earlier. It contributed 13 percent to agricultural output in the second quarter.
Chicken production dropped 7.8 percent to 440 million MT in the first quarter from 477.11 million MT in the same quarter in 2019. The subsector grossed P118.1 billion in the first semester.
Fisheries production picked up by 0.9 percent to P70.9 billion from P70.29 billion and accounted for 16 percent of the total agricultural output. Gross value of the subsector reached P57.52 billion from January to June 2020.
Major fish species such as Bali sardinella, skipjack and roundscad posted output increments at 45.7 percent, 19.6 percent, and 18.6 percent, respectively.
Dar said the growth in the second quarter was unexpected given the COVID-19 pandemic, “but we are pleasantly surprised, thanks to our farmers and fishers for their hardwork and dedication to continuously produce enough food for the country. It is an uphill target because of the pandemic.”