The Philippine Statistics Authority data showed that the Philippine agricultural sector was greatly affected by El Niño and other calamities in 2015. The growth was almost flat that it grew only by 0.1 percent compared to 1.4 percent increase in 2014.
El Niño was at its peak on the last quarter of 2015 and forecasted to continue towards April 2016.
“The sector’s performance was negatively affected by the long dry spell and damages caused by Typhoon Lando,” said Romeo S. Recide, interim deputy statistician. He added that crops and fisheries sub-sectors have also dropped especially in the latter part of 2015.
Crops sub-sector which contributes 52 percent of the total farm production fell by 2 percent last year. Palay production, which comprised one fourth of the total production dropped by 4.3 percent. Corn production dropped by 3.2 percent amounting to P50 billion; while sugarcane production decreased by 8.4 percent or P17.9 billion. Banana production fell by 2.2 percent to P38.4 billion.
The crop sub-sector at current prices earned P852.2 billion down by 8 percent from the P927.3 billion in 2014. The agricultural sector at current prices earned P1.42 trillion but this is 5 percent lower compared to P1.49 trillion in 2014. Fisheries sub-sector fell by 2 percent in 2015 compared to the 0.45 percent decline in 2014.
On the other hand, poultry sub-sector grew by 5.7 percent in 2015 compared to 0.27 percent growth the previous year. Livestock production also increased by 3.8 percent last year compared to the 1 percent growth in 2014. Its gross earnings at current prices grew by 1.76 percent to P252.1 billion compared to P247.8 billion in 2014.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), El Niño will be at its worst from January till the end Of April this year and 85 percent of the country will be greatly affected.