Philippine agriculture was able to achieve a 2 percent growth in 2019, Secretary of Agriculture William Dar said at the year’s final meeting of the Department of Agriculture’s Management Committee. The department hopes to maintain the present 2 percent growth in 2020, go up to 3 percent in 2021, and reach 4 percent in 2022.
Although the Philippines is said to be a good agricultural country, with great fields for rice, corn, coconut, and other crops, it has not developed its agriculture as well as some of our neighbors in Southeast Asia. We cannot event produce enough rice for our population; we have to import vast amounts from Vietnam and Thailand.
Agriculture, industry, and services are said to be the three principal components of GDP. According to figures compiled by the CIA World Factbook, service is the biggest component of the world’s total GDP today. It accounts for 80 percent of the GDP of the United States, 70.9 percent in the European Union, and 51 percent in China.
Next is industry. It accounts for 40.5 percent of the GDP in China, 25.2 percent in the European Union, and 19.1 percent in the US.
Agriculture has the least contribution to the GDP of most highly developed counties. It accounts for only 0.9 percent of the US’s GDP, 1.1 percent of Japan’s GDP, 1.6 percent of the European Union’s.
In the Philippines today, services contribute the biggest part of the GDP – 59.8 percent. Industry accounts for 30.6 percent and agriculture only 9.6 percent. Services include the income of our millions of Overseas Filipino Workers. It also includes the income from our booming tourism industry, with its hotel services.
We do not hear much about plans of the industrial sector, but agriculture has such great prospects because of the tremendous market possible. This is true especially for rice, which accounts for 9 percent of the Filipinos’ consumer basket. Self-sufficiency in rice has long been the dream of Philippine administrations, as far back as that of President Marcos who had a Masagana 99 program.
The Department of Agriculture under new Secretary Dar now has plans for Philippine agricultural growth. The department, he said, will focus on increasing productivity, lowering production losses, value-adding, and market-matching.
We look forward to these coming years as the Department of Agriculture carries out its program with very definite goals of 2 percent growth in 2020, 3 percent in 2021, and 4 percent in 2022. By the end of President Duterte’s term in 2022, we should have agricultural productivity as one of his administration’s greatest accomplishments.