From The Report: The Philippines 2016
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Still the country’s largest single employer, the Philippines’ agriculture sector continues to play a pivotal role in the economy, even as the government looks to develop other modern industries to lead the way in the future. Directly employing more than one-quarter of all workers in non-services industries, more than 11m Filipinos relied on agriculture for their livelihood in 2013, according to the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA). The palay, poultry and livestock industries were the key drivers of growth in 2013, and the segments continued to perform well in the first half of 2014. Determining the most effective means of countering the effects of weather will be a key concern going forward. Initiatives to boost yields of staples such as rice and corn should reduce the country’s food import bills in the future, even if the stated goal of full rice self-sufficiency is not achieved. The flourishing fisheries and fruits and vegetables segments are likely to continue to be profitable as well, as international demand still significantly outpaces the supply of Philippines-cultivated produce and seafood. This chapter contains interviews with Senator Cynthia A Villar, Chairperson, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food; and Milagros Ong-How, Executive Vice-President, Universal Harvester Incorporated.