Published on January 30, 2021 | Bamba Galang, CNN Philippines
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 30) — Agriculture Secretary William Dar says he is confident about the sector’s recovery in 2021, as it remains a vital factor in the country’s recovery from the global health crisis.
“We have sound fundamentals — with systems and policies already in place that would allow us to bounce back strong in 2021 and beyond,” Dar said in a statement.
Last year, Philippine agriculture was challenged by the “perfect storm” — the Taal volcano eruption, the continued spread of African Swine Fever, and the series of typhoons that devastated the country in the latter part of the year.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the agriculture sector contracted by 3.8% in the last quarter of 2020 due to lower production of livestock, fish, and crops. This brought the full-year growth to -1.2%, from a slight growth of 0.3% reported in 2019.
Its contribution to gross domestic product was also logged at -0.2% for the whole year, the lowest negative growth among sectors.
Dar described it as “negligible”, saying measures are already in place, like the recently implemented “One DA” program, that will further modernize and boost the country’s farming and fishery sectors.
“This setback does not negate the fact that the agri-fishery sector remains a key pillar for the country’s economic recovery, and can positively contribute to achieving NEDA’s 6.5% to 7.5% growth target for 2021,” he said.
For 2021, the DA targets to achieve full-year growth of 2.5% through further integration of technology that will improve production, connectivity, and delivery of service to its beneficiaries.