According to Alcala the modest growth was pushed by the poultry, crops and livestock sub-sectors, which grew by 5.5%, 1.5% and 0.5% retrospectively. However, success did not follow through into the fisheries subsector, which saw a decline of 3.3% on the same month in the previous year.
The poultry subsector, Alcala said, shared 13.9% of the total agricultural output, which saw an expansion of 5.5% on last year and totalled p81.3bn in value. Additionally the livestock sector contributed 15.2% to the total agricultural production of the Philippines, which showed growth of 0.5% on last year and totalled p1000.bn in value.
The fisheries subsector accounted for 18.8% of the total agricultural output, but decreased in volume by 3.3% and had a value of P117.4bn.
A rise in value and volume was seen in the crops sector, which Alcala said was down to the good weather and “appropriate interventions”, such as the supply of quality seeds and irrigated areas. As a result crops accounted for more than half (52%) of total agriculture production. Palay and corn production has also risen by 4.15% and 4.8% retrospectively.
Although the growth was small, Alcala said resilience in the agriculture and fisheries sector has been proven. The country experienced a dry spell in 2010, which affected the agriculture sector and resulted in a drop of 2.81%, however, production grew in the first nine months of 2011 by 4.8%.
Alcala has also been working on a campaign to gain the trust of farmers in the country, including a Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP). The FSSP, according to Alcala, includes a set of interventions to improve productivity as well as increase farmers’ incomes to ensure the country’s food supply. And for 2012 and 2013, while the country continues to import, Alcala said the government has considered allowing the private sector to handle bigger portions of imports.