Southern Leyte is basically an agricultural province complemented by the growth in the services sector. The major sources of income in the province are farming and fishing. The major crops grown are coconut, rice, banana, rice, root crops, fruits, and vegetables.
Southern Leyte’s coconut production of 128,894 M.T. in 2007 ranked fifth among the provinces in Region VIII. With 32,000 hectares planted with coconut trees, the province contributed seven percent of the total coconut production of the region and about one percent of the country’s coconut production, according to BAS data. Sixty percent (60 percent) of the area planted with coconut was tenanted while 40 percent was owned.
BAS data showed that in 2007, Southern Leyte contributed 9 percent of the total palay production in Region VIII while Leyte contributed 61 percent. Southern Leyte’s palay production was only 0.53 percent of the country’s production. Its palay production generally showed an increasing trend from 64,378 M.T. in 2003 to 86,902 M.T. in 2007. In 2007, Southern Leyte got the highest yield of 4.79 M.T. per hectare among the provinces of Eastern Visayas. It was higher compared to Region VIII (3.64 M.T.) and the country’s average yield per hectare (3.80 M.T.).
Livestock and poultry
Livestock and poultry are mostly raised in the backyard, with at least 5–10 heads per household and are used for home consumption and special occasions. Carabaos are mostly used in farming and hauling of agricultural products from the farm to the market.
Fishing is one of the major means of livelihood in Southern Leyte, it being located along the coast. BAS record showed that in 2007, Southern Leyte realized a total 4,305.62 M.T. of fish production, valued at Php694.2 million. It represented 7 percent share in terms of contribution to the region’s total fish production, and 0.30 percent of the country’s fish production. In 2007, municipal fishing contributed 51 percent of the volume of fish production in Southern Leyte; commercial fishing, 42 percent; and aquaculture, 7 percent.