ASEAN Agri­cul­ture Sum­mit: Com­pet­i­tive an­a­lyt­ics

Agriculture - - News -

HOW DOES THE PHILIP­PINES com­pare with its ASEAN peers? Back­ground. On Oc­to­ber 4 2017, I spoke at the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Na­tions (ASEAN) Agri­cul­ture Sum­mit upon the in­vi­ta­tion of ASEAN Busi­ness Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil Chair Joey Con­cep­cion.

My ob­jec­tive was to com­pare the per­for­mance of ASEAN coun­tries in agri­cul­ture and trade. Five large ASEAN [na­tions] were se­lected: the Philip­pines, In­done­sia, Malaysia, Thai­land, and Viet­nam. The main sources of data were the Food and Agri­cul­ture Or­ga­ni­za­tion (FAO), United Na­tions (UN), and United States Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA) Eco­nomic Re­search Ser­vice.

Col­la­tion and analy­ses of ba­sic data were un­der­taken at the Cen­ter for Food and Agri Busi­ness of the Uni­ver­sity of Asia and the Pa­cific (UA&P). The UA&P re­search has been quoted in var­i­ous me­dia. Sadly, some me­dia did not bother to at­tribute their re­search ori­gins.

The anal­y­sis fo­cused on six met­rics: (a) na­tional and ru­ral poverty, (b) to­tal fac­tor pro­duc­tiv­ity, (c) land pro­duc­tiv­ity, (d) land pro­duc­tiv­ity growth, (e) crop di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, and (f) trade.

Na­tional and ru­ral poverty. The Philip­pine na­tional poverty In­ci­dence of 21.6 per­cent is dou­ble that of [the] ASEAN-4 weighted av­er­age. This is the case, too, for [the] ru­ral poverty in­ci­dence of 30 per­cent.

Ru­ral poverty is a key de­vel­op­ment met­ric as some three quar­ters of the poor re­side in the ru­ral sec­tor. Agri­cul­ture and fish­ery are the main oc­cu­pa­tions in that sec­tor. Agri-man­u­fac­tur­ing, a main job source in other coun­tries, is un­der­de­vel­oped prin­ci­pally due to a lethar­gic agri­cul­ture sec­tor.

To­tal fac­tor pro­duc­tiv­ity (TFP) is the most in­for­ma­tive mea­sure of long-term agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity. TFP cov­ers land, la­bor, cap­i­tal, and ma­te­rial re­sources used in pro­duc­tion and com­pared to to­tal crop and live­stock out­put (USDA).

The Philip­pines lags be­hind its ASEAN peers in TFP. Malaysia and Viet­nam posted con­sis­tent growth for the past 30 years.

Poverty In­ci­dence, % (Per­cent) Head­count At Na­tional Poverty Line TO­TAL Ru­ral Ur­ban Long-Term TFP, 1981-2013 (Per­cent growth per year) Malaysia In­done­sia Viet­nam Thai­land Philip­pines


11.3 14.2 8.3

Malaysia Philip­pines Thai­land Viet­nam


3.01 0.38 1.17 0.06 0.18

0.6 1.6 0.3

21.6 30.0 11.3

10.5 13.9 7.7

13.5 18.6 3.8

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