Agricultural production in Q1 flat after typhoon damage, ASF

AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION in the fThe first quarter of the year is estimated to have been little changed due to typhoon damage and the ongoing impact of the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak, analysts said.

Roy S. Kempis, a professor at Pampanga State Agricultural University, said “not much” is expected from the agribusiness in the first quarter.

“There may be flat growth that won’t be far from the growth rate (from the previous quarter),” he said.

He estimates that the value of production in the agricultural sector will be preserved bottlebetween minus 0.5% and 0.5%.

The value of agricultural output increased by 0.6% in the fourth quarter of last year. In the first quarter of 2021, production fell by 3.4%.

In 2021, agricultural production shrank by 1.7%.

Mr Kempis said grains and fisheries will remain a “bright spot” for production in the first quarter, but overall production will continue to be hampered by the livestock sector due to the resurgence of ASF earlier in the year.

“This is fueled by harvests, fiSheries and poultry in the same order of precedence. Not much can be contributed from the livestock sector. Instead, it will be the Achilles’ heel because of ASF and the reluctance of ranchers to reopen any time soon,” Mr Kempis said.

As of March 2022, ASF was still active fifive regions, nine provinces, seven municipalities and 12 barangays.

According to the statistics agency, the industry lost 3 million pigs to the disease or to precautionary culling between 2019 and 2021.

“The livestock industry is expected to still have problems. Being a capital-intensive industry, it will take more time to recover, maybe three to three fifive years,” added Mr. Kempis.

He added that a negative result may arise due to agricultural damage from Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai), which struck just two weeks earlier fifirst quarter of 2022.

The Agriculture Ministry reported that crop damage from the typhoon totaled 13.3 billion pesos.

The storm affected 533,709 farmers and fiSherfolk on 462,766 hectares of arable land, with a production loss of 273,062 tonnes (MT).

The main regions affected were Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao, Davao de Oro and Agusan del Sur provinces.

“It will take time for these provinces to fully recover. And that must not happen in the first quarter. These provinces are rice-growing areas, particularly those in the western Visayas, which can be considered the second most important rice-growing areafeetuh Central Luzon,” said Mr. Kempis.

“Also these aonwardsThe provinces selected include rich marine fishing grounds in the bays of Eastern Visayas and Western Visayas. your navy fishing reasons not only include fifishing, but marine aquaculture. The latter’s aquaculture farms in the sea may have been devastated by the typhoon. Repairs may not be enough, but additional capital investment may be required. And the latter could be a challenge, albeit temporarily not just in fFisheries, but also in crops and poultry,” he added.

United Broiler Raisers Association President Elias Jose M. Inciong said demand had also fallen in the United States fifirst quarter due to the Omicron surge and lockdowns in January.

“The growers would have been conservative then, especially the broiler breeders. The costs were (also) high even before the Ukraine war,” he said in a Viber message.

Mr Kempis said there was a period of increased consumption from the fourth quarter of 2021 due to the holiday season, which also served as an incentive to produce more.

“That fiThe first quarter is expected to see a slowdown in consumption and, along with it, food production, processing and manufacturing,” he added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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