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PIA Press Release

Agri growth slowest in Region XI

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (15 August) -- The agriculture sector posted a slowest growth in the region the past year. In the study made by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the slow growth is attributed to the decrease in production of banana and corn as well as a decline in poultry and palay.

The said sector accounted for 26 percent of the region's economy, slowed down to a 2.1 percent growth in 2007 from 3 percent in 2006.

This is based on NSCB's Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) results which measured the goods and services produced in each of the geo-political regions of the country.

In Mindanao, the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) posted the highest growth at 8.1 percent followed by SOCCSKARGEN at 7.9 percent. Region XI posted the lowest growth.

NSCB regional head Estrella Turingan said that the region terribly suffered vulnerability of market products to the outside forces especially because the region simply focused on very few products like banana.

" When the world market experienced problem on banana and corn, our region is greatly affected leaving us with no other buffer product to sustain agricultural growth," she said.

Instead, the region showed well on the industry sector as it expanded from 2.8 per cent in 2006 to an impressive 11.9 percent in 2007.

The said growth is brought about by mining and quarrying activities which rebounded to 9.6 per cent last year from a negative 20.5 percent in 2006.

NSCB claimed that the impressive performance of this sector can be attributed to the increased gold production which accounted for the bulk of the total mining industry of the region.

The construction industry also accelerated from 11.5 percent to an impressive growth of 29.1 percent in 2007. A positive growth trend is also seen on the electricity and water industry as it turned from a negative 0.6 percent in 2006 to a 5 percent growth last year.

Former National Economic Development Authority regional director Dr. Edmundo Prantilla said that the slow growth of agriculture in the region is justified with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's strategic plan of position Region XI as a hub for commerce and trade.

However, he added that an equally careful focus on agriculture should still be continued as the region is still part of an agriculture-rich Mindanao. (PIA) [top]

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