Illustrative image (Source: International Business Times)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine farm output is projected to increase by 7 – 8 percent next year since the country looks to ship more products to markets such as China, said Agriculture Minister Emmanuel Piuol.

Growth target of the local agriculture sector in 2017 is higher than this year’s forecast increase of 3.5 – 5 percent.

The surge of rice production in the fourth quarter of 2016 thanks to favourable weather will support the sector’s growth in the whole year, said the minister.

Unmilled rice yield is expected to reach 18.57 million tonnes next year from a projected 17.9 million tonnes this year as the government provides more seeds and irrigation services to farmers.

China lifted a ban on imports of Philippine pineapples and bananas on October and pledged to import fish and other farm products from the Southeast Asian country after President Duterte promised to form a trade alliance with China.

Earlier, the World Bank (WB) on December 15 predicted the Philippines’ economy to grow at 6.8 percent in 2016 compared to the previous forecast of 6.4 percent released in October.

The increase was driven by accelerating investment and private consumption, said WB.-VNA