Negative growth seen for agriculture
Economists predict a negative growth for agriculture this year due to the severe El Nino and the possible La Nina that would follow it.
BusinessWorld quoted Rolando Dy, vice chair of the M.A.P. AgriBusiness and Countryside Development Committee, and executive director of the Center for Food and AgriBusiness at the University of Asia & the Pacific, as saying that agricultural growth would at best be zero.
Dy said the 3.5 percent growth target for agriculture is not attainable even if the sector recovers from good rainfall starting June.
Guian Angelo Dumalagan, market economist of the Land Bank of the Philippines was also quoted as saying that agriculture may decline by 0.3 percent this year due to the prolonged and severe El Nino and further damage that could be sustained due to La Nina.
For his part, Alvin Ang, professor of Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University, estimated agricultural growth at less than 1 percent.
He said reports of hungry farmers already give a preview of how bleak the situation is.