More resources committed to agriculture by PGMA — Olivar

May 3, 2010 7:17 pm 

MANILA, May 3 – Malacanang deputy spokesman Gary Olivar said today the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has committed more resources to agriculture, such that under her term, the gross value-added in agriculture (GVAA) grew by an annual average of 3.2 percent higher than that for two past administrations.

GVAA is said to be a measure of the overall contributions to the agriculture industry by producers (individual or institutional) and by other sectors, including government.

Olivar said the GVAA under President Fidel V. Ramos grew annually by only 2.52 percent while under President Joseph Estrada, 1.49 percent.

Olivar released the comparative government statistics in reaction to claims by former Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno that the agriculture sector is the biggest failure of the Arroyo administration.

Summarizing the areas, whereon the contrary growth was felt, Olivar said that for one, farmlands irrigated during the term of President Arroyo more than doubled to 1.6 million hectares than under the two previous administrations.

He said farm-to-market roads, which is responsible for the delivery of rice yields, nearly reached 11,000 kilometers compared to 2,650 kilometers under Ramos and 3,214 kilometers under Estrada.

He added that under the Arroyo administration, farmers and fishermen loans by the end of 2009 totaled P465 million, more than double the previous two presidents over the same time period.

According to Olivar, the commitment of resources to the agricultural sector has resulted in an average of 14.8 million metric tons of palay production annually under the Arroyo administration compared to 10.4 million metric tons under the Ramos administration and 10.9 million metric tons under the Estrada administration.

Palay yields under the Arroyo administration, Olivar said, averaged 3.54 MT per hectare compared to 2.97 MT under Ramos and 2.92 MT under Estrada.

Olivar said the price of rice in real terms excluding inflation was 16.28 pesos (using constant 1992 prices) compared to 19.04 pesos under the Ramos administration and 18.12 pesos under the Estrada administration. (PNA) scs/OPS/utb

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