Friday, 14 November 2014

Agri’s flat growth threatens poverty

The flat growth of agriculture sector for the first nine months of the year is not expected  to affect the gross domestic product (GDP) for this year.
National Economic and Development Authority  Director General Arsenio Balisacan said at the sidelines of 52nd Annual Meeting of the Philippine Economic Society in Makati City that despite the less than 1 percent growth of the agriculture sector from January to September period, it may not slow down the economic growth of the country as the sector accounts for only 11 percent of the total GDP.
The Philippine Statistics Authority  reported yesterday  that the agriculture sector only grew by 0.33 percent in the first nine months of the year even as the sector was affected by three strong typhoons such as “Glenda”, “Luis”, and “Mario” in July to September.
On the other hand, the sector’s value of production grossed P1.1 trillion at current prices in the said period, higher by 9.55 percent than last year’s gross earnings.
“Even though the growth of agriculture is likely to have impact on GDP, but because of its portion (in the economy), we hope it will not affect,” Balisacan said.
The NEDA chief, however, noted that despite agriculture sector’s low contribution to the GDP, it is a part of the economy which has large impact in poverty reduction since there is large portion of the population who are dependent in agriculture.
“If the agriculture output is low then the income is also low,” he explained noting that individual income of the population in the said sector will further decline when there is higher population dependent in the sector.
PSA data also showed that the farmers and fishermen are the poorest sectors in the country in 2012.
Poverty rate among fishermen was at 39.2 percent while farmers at 38.3 percent.*PNA

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