The Philippines expects higher palay and corn production in the second half of the year because of expanded harvest areas and better yield resulting from increased government interventions in all rice and corn producing regions.
In its latest forecast, the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics said the probable palay production for July to December 2013 was at 10.46 million metric tons, or 3.1 percent higher than last year’s 10.14 million MT.
Harvest area for the period may expand by 2.3 percent to 2.72 million hectares, from 2.65 million hectares in 2012. Yield may increase by 0.8 percent, from 3.82 MT to 3.85 MT per hectare.
Based on standing crop, the July-September 2013 production may decline by 8.4 percent from 3.60 million MT in 2012 to 3.30 million MT. Harvest area may shrink by 8 percent, from 947,000 hectares in 2012 to 871,00 hectares this year. Yield may decrease by 0.4 percent from 3.80 MT to 3.78 MT per hectare.
Based on farmers’ planting intentions, the October to December 2013 production, harvest area and yield are expected to grow by 9.4 percent, 8.1 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.
“Except Northern Mindanao, all regions are foreseen to increase their production. Farmers are optimistic to plant due to interventions by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and local government units such as the Balik Binhi/Seed Banking, Sikat Saka, and crop insurance,” the bureau said.
In the first half of 2013, palay production reached 7.997 million MT, or 1.3 percent higher than the 7.891 million MT output in 2012.
Palay production for 2013 may reach 18.45 million MT, 2.3 percent higher than the 18.03 million MT output in 2012 – attributable to the expansions in harvest areas and improvement in yield.
However, this year’s total palay production remains lower than the 20.04 million MT target set by the National Rice Program.
For corn, this year’s total production may reach 7.375 million MT, which is 0.4 percent lower the 7.407 million output in 2012 because of contraction in harvest area, with no yield improvement.
In January to June 2013, production was at 3.32 million MT, lower by 4.2 percent from the 3.47 million MT output in 2012. BAS attributed the decline to the decreased harvest area and drop in yield due to the prolonged dry spell in major corn producing areas.
BAS said the corn sector could start recovering in the third quarter of 2013 – with production, harvest area and yield expected to exceed the 2012 levels by 2.9 percent, 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
The July-September 2013 forecast on standing crop is likely to increase by 7 percent from 2.43 million MT last year to 2.60 million MT. Harvest area may expand from 906,800 hectares to 930,700 hectares, up by 2.6 percent, while yield may improve from last year’s 2.68 MT to 2.80 MT per hectare.
In the fourth quarter, BAS forecasts based on farmers’ planting intentions indicated lower production, harvest area and yield by 3.8 percent, 0.6 percent and 3.2 percent from their respective levels in 2012.
JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ