The country's agricultural production contracted by 1.3 percent in the second quarter of the year, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed. Data released by the PSA on Wednesday showed that the value of production in agriculture and fisheries at constant 2018 prices amounted to PHP427.69 billion, down from the PHP433.10 billion in the same period last year. "This was attributed to the reduction in the value of fisheries production," the PSA said. Fisheries, which declined by 14.2 percent, was valued at PHP58.81 billion. According to PSA, all fish species except tiger prawn and round scad, posted contractions in the second quarter of the year. Crop production, on the other hand, which was valued at PHP240.83 billion, grew by 1.2 percent. The PSA said the value of palay production increased by 1.1 percent to PHP85.96 billion from PHP85.05 billion in the second quarter of 2022, while corn production declined by 0.8 percent to PHP21.11 billion. Livestock expanded by 0.7 percent to PHP63.50 billion, driven by the growth in hog production. The value of poultry production also went up by 1.5 percent to PHP64.54 billion. Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said higher prices may have increased input costs for the agriculture sector, partly contributing to the year-on-year decline in output. "Adverse weather conditions could have also dragged on output especially since the latter part of 2022 to early 2023 due to storm damage due to shear line, especially in Southern Philippines," he said. Ricafort said increased imports of some agricultural products could have also become alternatives to what would otherwise produce locally. "Higher fuel costs could have weighed on the fisheries sector, as well as in other parts of the agricultural sector, thereby reducing profit margins and incomes of farmers and fisherfolk, thereby adversely affecting output, especially if there would be risk of losses amid the capital required," he added.
Source: Philippines News Agency