Philippine Agriculture Shows Promising Growth in 2023

The Philippine agriculture sector experienced a significant growth rate of 1.2 percent in 2023, surpassing the previous year’s expansion of 0.6 percent. This positive development can be attributed to several factors, including increased poultry and livestock production, a rise in fruit harvest, and a record-breaking rice output. The Philippine Statistics Authority reported these findings on January 31, 2024.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. expressed his satisfaction with the sector’s contribution to the country’s economic growth. However, he emphasized the need to further enhance agricultural productivity, stating, “We are pleased that agriculture has contributed positively to the growth of the economy last year. But certainly, we could do more.”

Despite contributing 9 percent to the country’s GDP in 2023, agriculture remains a vital source of employment for approximately 25 percent of the Filipino labor force, which totals 49.7 million individuals as of November. The record-breaking rice harvest, reaching 20.06 million metric tons, played a significant role in reducing rice imports from 3.8 million metric tons in 2022 to 3.5 million metric tons in 2023, thereby boosting farmers’ income.

One of the contributing factors to the increased rice output was the financial and other assistance provided to farms through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund of the Rice Tariffication Law. This support has not only improved rice production but has also helped farmers generate higher incomes.

In line with the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) objectives of modernizing agriculture, increasing food production, ensuring food security, and raising farmers’ and fisherfolk’s income, Secretary Tiu Laurel announced plans to allocate more funds for farm inputs, post-harvest and storage facilities, and the construction of additional irrigation systems.

“Certainly, agriculture is a low-hanging fruit for the economy where we could do more by providing the right inputs, mechanizing farm activities, adopting new technologies to raise yields and lower costs, effectively putting more money in the pockets of farmers and fisherfolk,” stated Secretary Tiu Laurel.

For the year 2024, the Department of Agriculture has been granted a budget of P167.5 billion, representing a 5 percent increase from the previous year. This additional funding will enable the department to implement various initiatives aimed at further developing the agriculture sector.

The government’s commitment to enhancing agricultural productivity and supporting farmers and fisherfolk reflects its recognition of the sector’s importance in achieving food security and economic growth. By investing in modernization, adopting innovative technologies, and providing the necessary resources, the Philippine agriculture sector is poised to continue its upward trajectory, benefiting both the economy and the livelihoods of those involved in the industry.


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