Philippines sees 2.5-3.5 percent rise in farm output next year

December 28, 2018 - 5:51 PM
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Farmer in a field
The Philippine agriculture sector is expected to post a 2.5-3.5 percent growth in output next year after a dismal performance this year. (The STAR/Edd Gumban)

MANILA — The Philippine agriculture sector is expected to post a 2.5-3.5 percent growth in output next year after a dismal performance this year, with rice production projected to hit an all-time high, the country’s farm minister said on Thursday.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol painted a more upbeat outlook for the sector than the official 2 percent growth target, saying higher output should be expected in crops and fisheries because of government interventions.

Agriculture, which accounted for around a tenth of the country’s gross domestic product in recent years, grew a marginal 0.15 percent in the first three quarters of 2018 from a year ago, partly due to massive typhoon damage to crops.

Paddy rice output next year is expected to reach a record 20 million tonnes, from a projected harvest of 19.2 million tonnes this year, Pinol said in a statement.

He said the government will boost funding to provide farmers with machinery and equipment, high-yielding seeds and credit with an annual allocation of 10 billion pesos ($190 million) from tariffs when rice importation is liberalized by next year. — Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Sunil Nair