THE PRODUCER price index (PPI) for agriculture rose 4.1% in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). 

The PSA said in a report that the fourth quarter growth rate represents a turnaround from the minus 6.8% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019. The growth rate also exceeds the 0.7% logged in the third quarter of 2020.

“This brings the Philippines’ annual average growth rate of PPI for agriculture for the year 2020 to 0%,” the PSA said.

The agriculture PPI “measures the changes in the average prices received by farmers for their produce relative to a base period,” the PPI said. The base year used in the report was 2018.

The PSA said the highest growth rate in the fourth quarter was posted by Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) with 22.4% while the lowest was by Eastern Visayas with minus 20.3%.  

Crops grew 2.2% during the fourth quarter, with growth rates for fruit and commercial crops at 0.9% and 0.4%, respectively.

It added that the growth rate for cereals was 3.3%, while condiments came in at 40.5%. 

The PSA said the growth rate for livestock and poultry in the fourth quarter was 20.6%, turning around from the minus 6.1% posted a year earlier.

“The uptrend in the PPI for livestock and poultry was due to the 31.7% annual increase in the index for livestock during the quarter,” the PSA said.

The growth rate for fisheries was minus 8.1% in the fourth quarter, against the 0.8% rise a year earlier.

It added that the growth rates for aquaculture and commercial fisheries for the quarter were minus 5.9% and minus 8.4%, respectively.  

“On the other hand, annual declines further accelerated during the quarter in the indices of inland municipal fishery at minus 5.4% and marine municipal fishery at minus 11.4%,” the PSA said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave