posted Sep 8, 2015, 11:10 PM by Francis Ebalo

Philippine Agriculture expanded by 1.83 percent in 2014 attributed to production increments in the crops, livestock and poultry subsectors. Gross earnings amounted to P1. 6 trillion at current prices or 9.71 percent higher than last year. The crops subsector shared 51.71 percent (%) in total agricultural production with palay and corn production up by 2.87% and 5.33%, respectively. Notable gains were also recorded for sugarcane, mango, tobacco, cassava and onion. Livestock production increased by 1.02%, sharing 16.10% to the total agricultural output. Gross value of production amounted to P247.1 billion, at current prices, indicating a 5.60% improvement from last year’s earnings.

The poultry subsector inched up by 0.27%. It shared 14.54% in the total agricultural production. At current prices, the subsector’s gross income reached P189.7 billion or 7.84 percent higher than previous year’s level. The fishery sector grossed at P242.0 billion with output increases from skipjack and yellowfin tuna. Total production accounted for 17.65% of the total agricultural production.

Banner Programs:

National Rice Program

The Philippine rice industry reached an all-time high national production of 18.97 million metric tons (MT) exceeding the previous year’s record by 528,406 MT. Production increment is credited to more favorable weather conditions, lower incidence of pests and diseases, and higher fertilizer use. In addition, effective irrigation systems, high prevailing farm gate prices, and the availability of high-yielding varieties encouraged more farmers to invest and expand areas planted to rice. In 2014, the DA-Rice Program implemented the High Yield Technology Adoption (HYTA) project in fully irrigated rice farms to ensure attainment of high yield and avoid crop failure. Under the “Grant-Recovery-Roll over” scheme, hybrid and inbred rice certified seeds were provided to farmers. A total of 133,815 bags for buffer seed stocks were also positioned as a proactive response to calamity and destructive natural phenomenon. Fourteen agrometeorological stations were established in vulnerable areas,while 81,517 farmers wereprovided with weather-based insurance coverage.

National Corn Program

Corn production for 2014 reached 7.77 million metric tons (MMT), higher by 5.33% from 7.38 MMT in 2013. This represents 92.9% of the targeted 8.37 MMT. On the other hand, cassava production continued its steady upward trend and grew by 6.22% from 2.22 MMT in 2013 to 2.36 MMT in 2014. For corn, the increases were attributed to sustained use of high-yielding varieties and recovery from effects of typhoon while the use of high yielding varieties and sustained demand helped increase cassava production.

High Value Crops Development Program

In 2014, the high value crops sector contributed 15.75% to the total National Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Year after year, it continues to provide one of the best income opportunities for farmers. The Department’s High Value Crops Development Program seeks to address food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable growth. It helps increase income, create livelihood opportunity and contribute to national agricultural development of the region.

National Livestock Program

The Philippines remains to be free from Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Avian Influenza following the effective efforts implemented under DA’s Animal Health Program. As such, export opportunities for our pork and poultry products to  other countries opened up, including established markets in Japan for our chickens. The livestock and poultry subsectors have experienced steady upward growth in output in the last five years, attributed mainly to the government’s Genetic Conservation and Improvement Program, which seeks to improve the production and reproduction potentials of the local herd through the introduction of superior quality genetics.

National Fisheries Program

Fishing contributed 18.2% to the output of agri-fishery industry and 1.8 percent of the national GDP at constant prices in 2014. Among the most notable initiatives of BFAR, which contributed to the positive share of the sector to the overall agricultural production, is the resolute implementation of the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 to address issues of overfished waters and too many fish cages. The Bureau has strengthened its regulatory efforts and have  intensified initiatives on law enforcement, fisheries management and similar mandates through unified and inter-relational monitoring, control and surveillance. Aside from its regulatory functions, BFAR also engages in production support for fisherfolk by providing aquaculture inputs which include fingerlings and seaweed propagates. Production support services were delivered to 141,582 fisherfolk-beneficiaries.


Other Initiatives:


To help increase access of small farmers and fisherfolk to credit, the Agro-Industry Modernization Credit and  Financing Program (AMCFP) was sustained and strengthened. In 2014, more than P20 billion loans were released to 45,723 small farmers and fishers.


Geo-Tagging of Infrastructure

The DA, thru the Mindanao Rural Development Project (MRDP), pioneered the utilization of geotagging technology to oversee the efficient and prompt implementation of government projects. The system records agri-fishery investments not only to achieve transparency and accountability in rural infrastructure projects but to facilitate monitoring of  projects as well. To date, other government offices including PDWH, DENR, DAR, DTI and NIA have adapted the same innovation to assure efficient and transparent implementation of their projects.


Farm Mechanization

To maximize farm productivity, the DA has continued to design, develop and extend technologies on postharvest and mechanization. Farmers were taught to operate and maintain selected agricultural machineries and have acquired kills on how to maximize the use of resources, reduce losses and add value to their produce. From 2011-2014, the government distributed 21,943 units of production machineries, 32,393 postharvest equipment and 5,770 post-production facilities, transforming potential losses into gains.


Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP)

In an effort to increase rural incomes and enhance farm and fishery productivity in small farming and fishing communities, the DA—with financial support from the World Bank—crafted a national rural development project, which seeks to develop market oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fishery sectors. Patterned after MRDP, the six-year PRDP stands as the national government platform for an inclusive, value-chain oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector. On the project’s official first year from July 2014 to June 2015, the planning component targeted to engage 20 of the 80 provinces in the country. To date, PRDP has exceeded its targeted areas for engagement.

PH reaps gains from increased agri-investments under Aquino Administration

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala is confident that the unprecedented heavy investments in agriculture under the Aquino 
administration are well-spent and are worth the benefits that the country has now been reaping, and will reap even after the end of the President’s term in 2016. “The smallholder-centered, value chain-based and complementary programs on crops, livestock and fisheries development designed within a multi-stakeholder convergence framework ensure that we have laid out a strong foundation that would sustain our gains past this administration,” Alcala said. The Philippines has started to reap the gains of the Aquino administration’s history-high investments in agriculture as manifested in increased production and income of farmers. The significant increase in the DA’s budget from 2011 to 2015 has enabled the DA to rationalize its programs, projects and services especially for smallholder farmers and fishers. With increased funding, the government has been able to reach out
to more farmers and fishers in the countryside, working closely and establishing partnerships with local government units on projects such as irrigation, farm mechanization, post-harvest facilities, and intensification of the use of high-quality seeds, fertilizers and other inputs. These interventions have helped in decreasing production cost and increasing yields. Palay and corn respectively posted 20.26% and 21.86% increase in production volume for 2010 and 2014. Complementing this increase in production is the increase in value at 64.70% and 44.38%, respectively. For the same period the production value of high-value crops such as coconut, sugarcane, banana and mango, as well as livestock, poultry and fish have likewise increased. Overall, these commodities registered an average increase in production value at 27.89% or Php350 billion higher than the 2010 total value at Php 1.25 trillion. With the increase in production volume and value, farmers’ grains has significantly increased. According to Philippine Statistics Authority data, rice farmers’ income in 2010 and 2013, for instance, has improved from Php15,830 per hectare to Php 21,910. Similarly, the net income per hectare for corn farming increased by 65.6% from Php 5,760 in 2010 to Php 9,537 in 2013 - or an annual average growth of 21.9%. Working on a rid
ge-to-reef principle in agricultural development, the DA has equally assisted the fisheries sector to increase its productivity; hence improving the incomes of artis and fisherfolk who are considered to be the poorest sector, according to the National Anti-Poverty Commission. The value of fishery exports that have benefited smallholder fishers rose from US$634 million in 2010 to US$1.156 billion in 2013, with the biggest increase of 42.6% happening in from 2012 to 2013. Alcala said that the government has given due attention in reinvigorating the fisheries sector to make agricultural development more cohesive and inclusive, targeting those who need assistance most like the smallholder fisherfolk.

Pilipino Star Ngayon

July 27, 2015