Reportage on Trends in Philippine Agriculture Industry

A 2024 Reportage on the trends and developments in the Agriculture Industry

In an archipelagic country such as the Philippines, where grasslands span thousands of square miles, agriculture practice emerges as the only logical and primary source of livelihood for many of our communities—for rural communities most especially.

The Agriculture Industry Over the Years

As we discuss the agriculture industry, it is only appropriate for us to recognize its contributions to society, both in the economic and social aspects. Economically, from 1998 to 2009, the agriculture sector accounted for 13.5% of the Philippines’ total gross domestic product (GDP). At one point, its once-steady contributions dipped to 10%[1].

However, it is worth noting that this decline does not equate to a shrink in crop production. Rather, it shines a light on the different structural transformations that the agriculture sector has stood witness to. Political hurdles such as the Russian-Ukraine war, global security threats in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, the decreasing number of individuals choosing to pursue careers in the agriculture sector, and natural calamities are all factors that have a direct impact on the crop and fisheries production of the country[2].  

But despite these challenges, the agriculture industry continues to be a primary contributor to society, and in 2023 was able to economically provide 9% of the Philippines’ GDP. 

In the social aspect of things, the agriculture industry was able to provide employment opportunities to around 25% of the 49.7 million Filipinos in the labor force. It has also extended support to other forms of agricultural livelihoods: fishing, raising livestock, and other non-farm activities. All of that said, the agriculture industry is a vital component of the country’s landscape. 

Perennial Challenges the Agriculture Industry Faces

As a vital component of the Philippine economy, the agricultural sector plays a fundamental role in sustaining livelihoods, ensuring food security, and contributing to national economic growth. However, it is not immune to a myriad of challenges that significantly affect its overall development and stability. Let’s further discuss the perennial issues plaguing the agriculture sector in the Philippines: 

Industry Trends and Developments

Despite ongoing challenges in the agriculture sector, there have been gradual but significant developments aimed at mitigating their effects and revitalizing the industry’s former vitality. Efforts have been underway to address issues such as technological trends, organic farming efforts, and climate change-resilient techniques. These steps are crucial in restoring the agriculture sector to its former glory, ensuring sustainable growth, and securing food security for the future.

What is an Agribusiness? 

Agribusiness typically refers to the commercial activities associated with agriculture. These encompass the management of farms, the production and distribution of agricultural equipment and supplies, as well as the processing, storage, and distribution of agricultural products.

The Philippine Agribusiness sector is comprised of five (5) major subsectors, namely: a) crop production, b) animal production, c) forestry and logging, d) fishery (including aquaculture), and e) agri-support services and manufacturing

Scope of the Agribusiness Sector

The agribusiness sector encompasses a wide array of activities within the agriculture industry, making it challenging to precisely define its scope. As previously mentioned, this sector is involved in various stages including producing inputs, managing farms, processing food and non-food products, manufacturing equipment and supplies, as well as engaging in trading and retailing.

Challenges of the Agribusiness Sector

Straight to the point: the very issues that hamper the agriculture sector are also the same challenges that hinder agribusinesses from reaching its full potential since the core of the agribusiness sector, after all, is the agriculture industry itself.

Obstacles such as labor migration, fluctuating operation costs, and supply chain gap not only impact crop yields, but also necessitate innovative solutions and strategic adaptations within the agribusiness industry. 

Kabraso As a Service Provider For the Agriculture Sector 

For Kabraso Multipurpose Cooperative, we lean on our core values and innovative approaches to continue providing exceptional services to our clients across the agribusiness sector. Because beyond its economic significance, the Philippines’s agri industry can certainly use some help. We say this in the context of the following:

1. Mechanizing Farm Activities

Industrialization is not a major concern in the Philippines due to the prevalence of labor-intensive practices in key sectors. Instead, there is a strong desire to embrace mechanization. However, a significant challenge lies in the financial constraints faced by agribusinesses, limiting their ability to invest in agricultural equipment. 
 
Understanding these financial challenges, Kabraso offers total service contracting solutions to facilitate mechanization without requiring agribusinesses to purchase expensive equipment outright. Our connection with authorized equipment distributors allows us to offer affordable leasing options for agricultural machinery. And since our service offering encompasses both skilled labor and necessary machinery, agribusinesses can maximize their efficiency without having to worry about extra financial burden. 

2. Bridging the Agricultural Supply Chain Gap

A deficient logistics and transportation system can cause delays in delivering fresh produce, resulting in spoilage and diminished product quality. This, in turn, can lead to significant financial losses for agricultural businesses. 
 
Kabraso having ties with leading logistics companies can help streamline agriculture sector logistics efficiently. Our partners specialize in cold storage, refrigerated transport, and temperature-controlled warehousing, crucial for extending shelf life and preserving product quality.
 
By leveraging this network, Kabraso enhances the efficiency of the agricultural supply chain, ensuring fresh produce reaches markets promptly while minimizing spoilage losses. 

3. Addressing the Shortage of Agriculture Workforce

Despite the Philippines’ deep agricultural roots, there has been a noticeable decline in its workforce over the past decade. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the agriculture sector consistently records the most substantial decrease in employment annually. This trend indicates a looming threat to the country’s fragile agricultural system and development in the coming years.
 
Kabraso actively provides adaptable workforce arrangements designed to meet the needs of agricultural businesses to ensure the continuity of operations for agribusinesses. This flexibility allows agribusinesses to scale their manpower and reduce costs during slower periods. Kabraso ensures farms have skilled personnel matched to specific tasks, optimizing overall efficiency in farm operations.

Conclusion

The agriculture sector in the Philippines remains a cornerstone of the nation’s economy and social fabric. From contributing to the GDP to providing employment opportunities and supporting diverse agricultural livelihoods, its significance cannot be overstated. Despite economic fluctuations and structural transformations, the industry persists, economically contributing 9% of the Philippines’ GDP in 2023 and employing around 25% of the labor force.

As the industry evolves, it adapts to modern trends and challenges. Technological advancements, a shift towards organic farming, and climate change resilience initiatives mark key trends. However, challenges such as land fragmentation, rural poverty, and limited access to finance persist.

Yet in the face of these challenges, service providers must steadfastly persevere. In this landscape, Kabraso Multipurpose Cooperative plays a crucial role as a service provider. By offering total service contracting solutions to agribusinesses, helping streamline the agricultural supply chain through strategic partnerships, and providing flexible staffing solutions, Kabraso contributes to the industry’s efficiency and resilience. Through these efforts, Kabraso aims to support the growth and sustainability of the agriculture sector in the Philippines.

Are You Up For a Quick Talk? 

If you need a trusted and turnkey partner for your agricultural needs, remember the name: Kabraso. We are a workers cooperative that lives up to our earnest name which translates into a partner. 

Contact us today to explore how Kabraso can help streamline your agribusiness and drive sustainable growth.

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