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Piñol sees 4% agri growth in Q4

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Pinol has projected a 4 percent agricultural growth in the fourth quarter of 2016.

“For the last quarter... actually tingin ko baka pumalo tayo ng 4 percent towards the end (of the year),” said Piñol in a press conference on Tuesday at the DA central office in Quezon City.

He said the growth can be attributed to crops subsector and the opening of market opportunities by China as a result of the recent visit of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte there.

Piñol, however, said that agri growth performance for 2016 may be “break even” despite positive growth recorded in the third quarter (2.98%) and the projected 4 percent growth in the last quarter of the year.

“Hindi ma-overcome ’yung -7 percent sa 1st two quarters. Ang tingin ko baka pumantay lang tayo -- break even for 2016 total agri growth (The growth could not overcome the -7 percent recorded in the 1st two quarters of the year. I think it will be break even for 2016 total agri growth),” he said.
   
But Piñol is optimistic that agriculture growth will have a “robust” performance next year, barring strong typhoons, due to greater demand for fish products from China.
   
Meanwhile, the Philippines may import 500,000 tons of rice in 2017 due to the projected 1.8 million metric tons deficit in the supply.
   
The National Food Authority has procured 250,000 tons from Vietnam and Thailand this year.