Primary sector’s performance drops to 2.52% in 2021

The agriculture sector continues to be the main driver of the primary sector’s growth

The primary sector of the economy, which comprises agriculture, livestock, and forestry. recorded a growth of 2.05% last year, which is a drop to 2.52% compared to 2020.

The revelation is as per the National Accounts’ Statistics Report 2022.

The primary sector saw one of the highest growths in the last five years. It recorded a growth of 4.57% in 2020.

According to the report, the primary sector contributed 0.24% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in 2021. The deceleration in growth is attributed to the livestock and the forestry sector, which dropped by 2.84% and 1.63%.

The primary sector recorded a gross value addition of about Nu 36bn last year against almost Nu 32bn in 2020, and its share of the economy stood at 19.19%.

However, the agriculture (crops) sector continued to be the main driver of the primary sector’s growth in 2021. The sector recorded a growth of 2.43% and contributed 1.11% to the primary sector’s growth.

The production of crops recorded a growth of 2.43% in 2021 as compared to 5.07% in 2020, which is a drop of 2.64% from the previous year.

“Although the sector recorded an accelerated growth of 2.96% in 2020, the growth decelerated in 2021,” states the report.

The slowing in the growth of the sector was due to a drop in the production of crops like buckwheat, wheat, and barley, among others. The sector recorded a value addition of Nu 19bn in 2021 as compared to Nu 18bn in 2020 and it accounts for 10.52% of the GDP.

In the livestock sector, cattle population increased by 5.46% in 2021 as compared to 2020. The population of the local cattle breed has increased by 6.14% and improved breed by 4.55% last year.

The value addition for the livestock sector was estimated at Nu 10.7bn at current prices. The sector growth decelerated to 1.76%, a drop by 2.84% from 4.60% in 2020.

Livestock contributed 0.07% to the GDP growth.

Among the livestock populations, goat and pig recorded the highest increase with the growth rate of 35.04% and 30.59% respectively during the year.

The forestry and logging sector, according to the report, recorded a growth of 3.29% in 2020 and further dropped to 1.66% in 2021. The growth was lower by 1.63% as compared to the previous year.

The growth in these sectors had contributed 0.04% to the GDP growth and the sector had a share of 2.97% of the GDP in 2021. These sectors recorded almost Nu 6bn of value addition last year.

These sectors had a share of 2.97% of the GDP in 2021. The sector recorded Nu 5.5bn for the year as compared to Nu 4.4bn in 2020 of value addition at current prices

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu