Philippine agricultural sector grows 1.2 pct in 2023-Xinhua

Philippine agricultural sector grows 1.2 pct in 2023

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-02 18:29:00

MANILA, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine agriculture sector grew by 1.2 percent in 2023, driven by higher poultry and livestock production, increased fruit harvest and record rice output, the Philippines' Department of Agriculture (DA) said Friday.

"Agriculture has contributed positively to the growth of the economy last year. But certainly, we could do more," Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel said.

Citing Philippine Statistics Authority data, the department said agriculture sector expanded by only 0.6 percent in 2022.

It added the sector contributed 9 percent of the gross domestic product in 2023 and employed around 25 percent of the 49.7 million Filipinos in the labor force as of November last year.

In 2023, the department said the Philippines saw "a record rice harvest" of 20.06 million metric tons, helping trim rice imports to 3.5 million metric tons from 3.8 million metric tons in 2022 and boost farmers' income.

Laurel added that financial and other assistance to farms from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund of the Rice Tariffication law also helped increase rice output.

In line with the government's goal of modernizing agriculture, increasing food production, ensuring food security, and raising farmers' and fisherfolk's income, Laurel said the department would increase spendings on farm inputs, post-harvest, and storage facilities and build more irrigation systems.

"Certainly, agriculture is a low-hanging fruit for the economy where we could do more by providing the right inputs, mechanizing farm activities, adopting new technologies to raise yields and lower costs, effectively putting more money in the pockets of farmers and fisherfolk," Laurel said.

The DA has a budget of 167.5 billion pesos (2.995 billion U.S. dollars) this year, 5 percent higher than in 2023.