PHL farm sector rose at faster clip in 2023 on poultry, livestock gains, record rice output

Philippine agriculture grew faster at 1.2 percent in 2023, driven by higher poultry and livestock production, increased fruit harvest, and record rice output, as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority on January 31, 2024.

In 2022, agriculture expanded by only 0.6 percent.

“We are pleased that agriculture has contributed positively to growth of the economy last year. But certainly we could do more,” said Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr.

Agriculture contributed 9 percent of GDP last year, but employs around 25 percent of the 49.7 million Filipinos in the labor force as of November.

The country last year saw 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 boosting farmers income. Financial and other assistance to farms from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund of the Rice Tariffication Law also helped increase rice output.

Secretary Tiu Laurel said that in line with the DA’s goal of modernizing agriculture, increasing food production, ensuring food security, and raising farmers and fisherfolk income, the agency will increase spending 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,” the agriculture chief said.

The DA has a budget of P167.5 billion for this year, higher by 5 percent from 2023. (DA)