The farming industry in the Philippines is considered to be a big deal.
While agriculture is responsible to 20% of the country’s GDP, it is also the industry that caters to 40% of the Philippine working force. But under the sector of agriculture, farming (also known as ‘crop cultivation’) is considered to be the main enterprise that makes up almost 60% of the agricultural sector. (1)
The main reason why farming is the main enterprise and source of livelihood of millions of Filipinos is because of the natural topography of he country. Land in the Philippines is rich in minerals, perfect for growing different crops in different seasons. While there are lots of mountains, there are also plains too. And mountains are no longer hindrances for farming as tech ology and innovation has found ways to farm on slopes. See the Banaue Rice Terraces as a perfect example. (2)
That being said, the Philippines is still very much an agricultural country, despite the efforts to make it industrialized by the year 2000. And while other sectors are booming and continuing to thrive, such as the sector of tourism and technology, farming is still going strong because it provides food to the citizens of the country. Moreover, due to the convenient geography of the Philippines and the numerous unique crops it produces, it capitalizes mostly on importing its crops. (3)
That being said, there is no better time to start a farming business than right now. But with the number of different crops and plethora of different farm types that you can choose from, it will be quite overwhelming. Here are the most profitable farm industries in the Philippines.
There were 181, 208 metric tons of onion bulb produced locally in 2015. Filipinos consumed 194, 672 metric tons of onion bulb (including imports) in 2015. That is an estimate of 1.9 kg of onion bulb that was consumed by each Filipino for the whole year. (4)
Onion is an easy crop to farm and produces great results. No wonder, it is Top 1 in the list of ten agricultural commodities with the highest average net returns per hectare from 2002 to 2015. (4)
It is used widely in Filipino dishes, often to start up the dish by sautéing it. It can also be found raw as a component of local salads.
String beans comes in at a close second with the average net return of 229, 339 PHP per hectare. In 2015, the amount of hectares that were planted with string beans were 13, 754, a 0.39% decrease from its 2014 number of 13, 808.
Like onion, string beans also does not require much tending and it grows easily unsupervised. It’s commonly the component in Chapsuey, and other local Filipino vegetable dishes.
Filipinos love their potatoes. It could be in the menudo, the adobo, the mechado or the afritada, or it could even be the main ingredient of your egg dish. Nevertheless, because potatoes are almost a kitchen staple in any Filipino household, it ranks third on this list.
Like onion, it is also a root crop, and in general, root crops are resilient against storms and winds, and are relatively easy to grow as compared to other sensitive vegetables that require a lot of things.
The Philippines consumed 138, 506 metric tons of potatoes in 2015, 86% of which were produced locally. It is estimated that each Filipino consumed 1.02 kg of potatoes in 2015. (4)
Another type of root crop, carrots is a versatile vegetable used for various dishes. It can be a savory vegetable, alongside potatoes in the mechado and afritada. It can also be a sweet vegetable, as the main component of carrot cake or in salads.
Carrots have an average net return of 171, 723 PHP per hectare. Between the years 2003 and 2015, there is an 18.2% average growth in net return. In 2015, 67, 037 metric tons of carrots were produced locally. The per capita average for carrots is 0.61 kilograms per year. (5)
Pineapple is another popular fruit in the Philippines. The refreshing fruit only grows in tropical countries, the Philippines being one of them. Especially in the summer, pineapple sales skyrocket because Filipinos crave for that sweet-sour taste that keeps them hydrated.
The average net return of pineapple is 166, 030 PHP per hectare. The average growth rate in net return for pineapple, from the years 2003 to 2015 is 8.2%. The average net profit to cost ration is a staggering 274. 6%! (5)
Filipinos consumed pineapples the most in the year 2015, with the average consumption of 11.2 kilograms per head that year. (5)
A fish makes it into the list of the most profitable framing industries in the Philippines. Tilapia, next to bangus, is a definite Filipino fish, often served as fish fry, sweet and sour or in sinigang.
The average net return for tilapia is 157, 482 PHP per hectare. The average growth in net return of tilapia from the years 2003 to 2015 is 23.8%, while the average net profit to cost ration is 63.4%. (5)
Tilapia had a gross supply of 311, 727 metric tons in 2015, which is the second of all gross supplies. 43 metric tons were imported, while 167 metric tons were exported.
Another bulb that is essential to Filipino cooking, along with onions, is the garlic. While onion and garlic are often used together in sautéing to start up a dish, the recipes usually call for more onions rather than garlic. Thus, explains the rank intervals of garlic in onion in this list. For every two whole onions, only three cloves of garlic are used, in average.
Garlic had an average net return of 155, 291 PHP per hectare. And an average growth in net return of 25.8% from 2003 to 2015.
However, in 2015, about 87% of garlic that Filipinos consumed were from other countries. The Philippines produced only 10, 420 metric tons of garlic in 2015.
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