Foreign newsEl Niño hits Philippines farming

18 August 1998

Foreign news

  • El Niño hits Philippines farming

    FARMERS in the Philippines saw agricultural output slump 7.2% in the first half of the year because of the El Niño weather phenomenon. The output of crops did even worse – down by 14.6%.

    Rice and grain were particularly hard hit. Corn production fell 44% year-on-year, while palay rice production was 27% lower.

    Recommendations to help the ailing farming sector were made in a recent report by the Asian Development Bank. These included improving rural infrastructure, a re-starting of the stalled land reform programme and increasing the area of land under irrigation.

    But the Government is under financial pressure and has already announced a 25% across-the-board spending cut.

    Agriculture represents about 20% of gross domestic production in the Philippines and employs about 44% of the workforce.

    • Financial Times 18/08/98 page 4

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