Poultry industry continues recovery amid agri slight decline

Despite the slight decline in the overall performance of the agriculture sector in the first quarter, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said the livestock sub-sector continues to recover amid the unresolved African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

In a report on Wednesday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said the production value of agriculture and fisheries at constant 2018 prices contracted by 0.3 percent from January to March.

Poultry registered expansion during the period while crops, livestock, and fisheries posted declines in production value.

“The slight dip in the growth of crops and livestock sub-sectors, all things considered, the livestock sub-sector is rebounding from its negative growth last year.

Our Achilles’ heel was the fisheries sub-sector, which posted the highest contraction of 5.8 percent; crops could have been affected already by skyrocketing fuel and fertilizer prices,” Dar said during a webinar hosted by the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines on Wednesday.

Dar said that he is optimistic that an ASF vaccine will be rolled out in the country soon.

“I am optimistic that in the past two years of battle with ASF, a new vaccine will be administered soon if the testing phases are successful. The encouraging results showed that the livestock (sub-sector) is clearly on the path of recovery,” the agriculture chief said.

According to the PSA report, crops recorded a 1.6 percent drop accounting for 58 percent of the sector’s production value.

Palay and corn declined by 1.9 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Hog, the major contributor to the value of livestock production, decreased by 1.2 percent, taking up 14.1 percent of the total production value of the food sector.

Poultry production expanded by 12.3 percent. It contributed 15 percent to the total production value in agriculture and fisheries. Except for duck, all poultry commodities posted increments.

Fisheries, with 12.9 percent share in the total production value in agriculture and fisheries, dropped by 5.8 percent.

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