Importance of agriculture in the Philippines

8  Top Importance of agriculture in the Philippines

The Philippines is an archipelagic country, made up of more than 7000 islands and with a population of almost 100 million people. We will be looking at the importance of agriculture in the Philippines.

Despite its large land mass, agriculture still plays a very important role in the national economy, as it provides employment to millions of Filipinos and contributes significantly to the country’s exports. Here in this blog post, we will be sharing the 8 importance of agriculture in the Philippines.

The importance of agriculture in the Philippines can be seen in the following statistics:

The List of the Importance of agriculture in the Philippines

  • Production and Provision of Food for Human Consumption

  • Role of Agrarian Reform

  • National Food Authority

  • Provision of Raw Material

  • Employment of Labour

  • Protection of the Environment

  • Preservation of Species

  • Foreign Exchange

Let us look at these importance of agriculture in the Philippines in detail.

1) Production and Provision of Food for Human Consumption

Agriculture is a major contributor to rural and urban food security and livelihoods.

The country’s agricultural sector supplies food for home consumption and is an important economic driver.

Food crops are grown on about four million hectares of arable land and contribute up to 25 percent of GDP through exports, employment, and industrial linkage.

Rice, corn, vegetables, fruit trees, and root crops are among the most important staples produced for local consumption.

The Philippines is among one of Southeast Asia’s largest exporters of agricultural products.

The country exported over $3 billion worth of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, making it one of its top agricultural exports. In addition to food exports, a number of crops are grown for their industrial uses such as abaca for fibers used in textiles.

2) Role of Agrarian Reform

Agrarian Reform is one of the country’s most important policies for agricultural development. It is an effort to provide farmers with land that they can call their own and work on themselves.

Land reform also seeks to empower those who have been marginalized through centuries of feudal rule, occupation, colonization, and neocolonialism.

Agricultural land reform, therefore, offers a social justice perspective on rural poverty alleviation by breaking the cycle of landlord-tenant dependency. Rural poor people are able to move out of this state and become empowered as owner-cultivators.

Land reform has never actually reached its desired level of success due to a lack of political will from the government officials, reluctance from landowners, fear from tenants about uncertainty after tenancy rights are terminated, and incompetence or corruption on the part of government officials involved in agrarian reform programs.

3) National Food Authority

The National Food Authority (NFA) is the government agency tasked with ensuring food security for Filipinos. The NFA acquires rice, sugar, and corn from local and international markets to make sure that there is a stable supply of these commodities at all times.

With so much of its revenues coming from rice sales, it is crucial that there is enough rice to support consumption. The agency collaborates with local farmers’ groups and international organizations such as USAID to make sure food security is guaranteed.

The NFA also supports local farmers by increasing their income and promoting organic farming.

This allows them to ensure a reliable supply of good-quality food for Filipinos, especially when natural disasters strike. In addition to protecting Filipino consumers, the NFA helps boost the economy through increased incomes for rural communities.

As part of their efforts to encourage sustainable farming practices, they have developed an innovative crop insurance system that enables poor farmers who have low capital assets but possess high levels of agro-ecological knowledge and expertise with soil management systems to manage risks associated with climate change and other factors affecting agricultural production.

4)  Provision of Raw Material

The agricultural sector is a major source of raw materials for various industries. It provides food, feed, and raw materials for industrial use.

For example, sugar cane is used to produce sugar which can be processed into refined sugar or molasses for manufacturing other products such as alcohols, cosmetics, and perfumes.

Rice is also a major agricultural product that can be processed into rice flour or cooked to become rice porridge to make cakes, noodles, and other products, while corn can be transformed into corn starch, corn syrup, and many other things.

In addition to providing these raw materials, this industry has an important role in providing jobs for Filipinos who are employed directly or indirectly by it. In total, it employs more than 20 million people across the country (WFP).

5)  Employment of Labour

In agriculture, labor is needed for planting and harvesting crops. Labor is also needed in industries that process agricultural products such as milling, canning, freezing, and drying. Workers are necessary for packaging, transportation, and marketing.

People are also employed to do research on crops to improve yields and resistance to pests, diseases, and environmental changes. Others are employed to monitor water quality, soil composition, and crop diseases in an effort to minimize losses.

Plant scientists develop new plant varieties through selective breeding and genetic engineering so that food can be grown more easily under different conditions than traditional varieties could tolerate.

6)  Protection of the Environment

A major concern for any agricultural society is the protection of its natural environment from the encroachment of civilization and pollution. The need to protect the environment is especially great when society relies on it for most of its food supply, as is common among many Third World nations. In the Philippines, at least one-third of people depend on a single crop, rice.

Farming practices such as deep plowing lead to soil erosion that causes topsoil loss and runoff pollution into nearby waterways, while intensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides pollute groundwater supplies.

To prevent environmental destruction, farmers should be encouraged to plant a variety of crops and leave land fallow periodically so that it may recover its fertility naturally; grow organic or compost crops; or plant trees around streams or over gullies in an effort to control soil erosion.

7) Preservation of Species

Agriculture is also important because of its ability to preserve species. Crops can be crossbred to produce plants with desirable traits, and these plants are then grown for food. In addition, agricultural products can be used for medicinal purposes.

The food and medicine produced by agriculture are vital to society’s well-being, while farming helps to ensure that species are preserved, modern agriculture also has a tendency to reduce genetic diversity.

Farmers usually grow only a handful of varieties and might not take steps to protect these varieties from disease or pests.

As more farmers adopt similar practices, genetic diversity decreases over time, making our crops less diverse and susceptible to harmful pests and diseases. If a new pest or pathogen infects one group of plants, it will spread quickly through entire agricultural systems as all plants will be equally susceptible.

8) Foreign Exchange

The country is heavily dependent on imports for its food needs, and agricultural exports are an essential source of foreign exchange. Furthermore, the industry is a major employer, providing jobs to around 17% of the total labor force.

In addition, agricultural trade is a source of foreign exchange. The total value of Philippine agricultural exports was $9.2 billion in 2013, including around $1.4 billion for meat and meat products, as well as over $1 billion each for coconut oil and bananas.


In conclusion, the importance of agriculture in the Philippines is a broad term that encompasses many different aspects. It is important to note that there are benefits and detriments to each aspect and not everything should be judged as good or bad.

For example, while it might be good for the economy to have foreign investment in the agricultural sector, it may also lead to low wages for laborers. Do you have questions or suggestions about the importance of agriculture in the Philippines? Please leave a comment below.

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