Wednesday, January 4, 2012

News Update Farm output to grow by 3%-4% if weather cooperates, says think tank

Farm output may grow by 3 to 4 percent in 2012 if the weather permits it, think tank University of Asia and the Pacific's Center for Food and Agribusiness (CFA) said Tuesday. "A 3 to 4 percent growth is doable under normal weather in 2012. But if we get hit by another Pedring-type typhoon, the farm sector may be hard pressed to grow by this much," said CFA executive director Rolando T. Dy. Dy said that the crops subsector, which includes palay and corn, will lead the growth of the industry this year. The poultry and aquaculture sectors are also expected to contribute to industry growth. Because of the typhoons that ravaged the country in the last quarter of 2011, government had cut its growth expectations for the farm sector to 3 percent to 3.5 percent. The Department of Agriculture (DA) expects farm output to grow by 5 percent in 2011, "barring any adverse conditions." Bureau of Agricultural Statistics data showed that the farm sector grew by 4.28 percent in January to September last year, with the crops subsector contributing 50 percent of farm output because of the combined performance of palay and corn. In the same nine-month data, palay production reached 10.75 million metric tons (MMT), up 16 percent from 2010, while corn rose almost 16 percent to 5.49 million MT. However, the DA said that due to the destruction caused by typhoons in the second half of 2011, the country will have difficulties in producing more than 17 million MT of rice. The damage from Tropical Storm Sendong alone, the DA said, amounted to P8.1 million. The DA previously said that as much as 1.4 million MT of paddy rice were destroyed by the six consecutive typhoons that hit the country from June to September last year. Meawnwhile, the DA estimates that palay production will grow by 1.37 percent in the first quarter of 2012, and corn production by 3.82 percent. — AL/VS