PHL agriculture seen growing by 7% to 8% in Q4 2016

PHL agriculture seen growing by 7% to 8% in Q4 2016
By Leslie D. Venzon

MANILA, Dec. 20 (PNA) — The agriculture sector expects another bumper harvest to deliver an unprecedented growth of 7 percent to 8 percent in the fourth quarter this year, bringing the 2016 growth at 1.03 percent.

Agricultural production grew a measly 0.11 percent in 2015 in terms volume due to the effects of El Nino and other natural calamities.

“I assume the grains crops will be the main driver of the growth for the fourth quarter. The livestock sector has increased its production because of the expected greater demand for the Christmas season,” Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said in a press briefing.

The agriculture sector rose 2.9 percent in July to September quarter amid normalization of weather conditions, breaking five consecutive quarters of decline.

January to September figures, however, remained negative at 1.297 percent.

The sector posted negative growths in the first and second quarters at 4.53 percent and 2.34 percent, respectively, as the prolonged drought brought about by the El Nino reduced crop output.

“Hopefully, we will be able to recover. I have been traveling around the country, I can tell you as a farmer that this cropping season will be another bumper harvest. The climate is good,” Piñol said.

In 2017, the agriculture chief is optimistic the sector will accelerate 7 percent to 8 percent on the back of favorable climate and the opening of more export markets such as China and Japan.

“Not only there will be massive growth in the agriculture sector because of favorable climatic condition but mainly because of the huge markets,” Piñol said, noting that China and Ja

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