Gov’t cuts agriculture growth target

THE Agriculture division minimize its full-year progress goal for the farm sector to 2% from 2.5% beforehand. — DA/PRRI

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

THE Division of Agriculture (DA) lowered its full-year progress goal for the farm sector to 2% because of the influence of the continued coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar on Wednesday stated the farm output goal was trimmed from the preliminary 2.5% objective, because the sector faces challenges from the assorted lockdown restrictions. He additionally famous the hog trade continues to wrestle with the ASF outbreak.

“We hope to attain a cushty progress in sync with the inhabitants progress. So, 2% (progress) would nonetheless be goal,” he stated at a digital press convention.

“With all of the indications, the pandemic remains to be ongoing and is getting worse, along with the lingering downside with ASF. Nevertheless, our goal remains to be at 2% since different subsectors are bettering such because the rice subsector,” he added.

The two% progress this 12 months for the agriculture sector could be an enchancment after the 1.2% contraction seen in 2020, and the 0.3% progress in 2019. Farm output contributes a couple of tenth to gross home product (GDP) and a fourth of the nation’s jobs.

In 2020, the farm sector reeled from the effects of the extended lockdowns, the ASF outbreak, and a string of sturdy typhoons within the latter a part of the 12 months. The nation’s GDP contracted by a file 9.6% final 12 months.

Agricultural manufacturing continued its droop, declining by 3.3% within the first quarter this 12 months.

Regardless of the decrease progress goal for 2021, Mr. Dar stated palay (unmilled rice) manufacturing is anticipated to achieve 20.4 million metric tons (MT), a million MT greater than the earlier file harvest of 19.4 million MT in 2020.

The DA chief stated farm and fisheries manufacturing can nonetheless enhance with the assistance of contemporary know-how, a better price range, and extra investments from native governments and the personal sector.

Mr. Dar beforehand introduced that the Agriculture division is looking for a P250-billion price range for 2022, versus its P80-billion price range this 12 months.

Calixto V. Chikiamco, Basis for Financial Freedom (FEF) president, stated the division’s adjusted progress goal is an inexpensive short-term goal, however can be difficult to attain with the continued pandemic and ASF outbreak.

“It’s extra probably approach beneath 2%. However the DA’s goal is an inexpensive short-term goal, given the pandemic and the ASF plague on the hog trade,” Mr. Chikiamco stated by way of cell phone message.

Nevertheless, Mr. Chikiamco stated the federal government wants to unravel the difficulty of land fragmentation in agriculture.

“Until the issue of land fragmentation is fixed, sustaining annual agriculture progress at 3% to 4% for the long run is unattainable,” Mr. Chikiamco stated.

“Secretary Dar is making an attempt to unravel the issue with ‘farm clustering.’ Nevertheless, that is solely a band-aid resolution. The actual resolution is to free the agricultural land market so farm consolidation can happen by way of possession and leasing,” he added.

In a cell phone message, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) Govt Director Jayson H. Cainglet stated the DA’s progress goal is an “empty quantity.”

As an alternative, Mr. Cainglet stated the DA ought to help native manufacturing and hasten the institution of first border inspection services to stop the entry of animal ailments equivalent to ASF.

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