THE country’s production of palay (unmilled rice) increased by 4.7 percent to 7.49 million metric tons (MMT) in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 7.16 MMT in the same period a year earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
In its “Palay and Corn Quarterly Bulletin” for the October-to-December period, the statistics agency attributed the growth to higher yield per hectare to 4.07 MT from 3.87 MT year-on-year, despite the harvest area contracting to 1.84 MMT from 1.85 MMT.
The output increase was largest in Region 2 (Cagayan Valley), with 0.23 MMT or 31.4 percent. Region 6 (Western Visayas) came next with 0.14 MMT (19.9 percent) and Region 1 (Ilocos) with 0.10 MMT (9.2 percent).
Year-on-year improvements in yield per hectare were noted in the Cordillera Administrative Region and Region 2, posting 31 percent and 28.1 percent, respectively.
Of the total output, 71.1 percent were irrigated and 28.9 percent were rainfed.
Palay harvested from irrigated areas reached 5.33 MMT, up 0.37 percent from 4.95 MMT a year earlier.
“Bulk of the production came from Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley and [the] Ilocos Region with a combined share of 54.4 percent of the total production from irrigated areas,” the PSA said.
Rainfed palay production hit 2.17 MMT, down 1.5 percent from 2.20 MMT in the last three months of 2019. Top producing regions were Regions 1, 6 and 4B (Mindoro island and Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan provinces, or Mimaropa).
The PSA also said in the bulletin that the country’s corn production dropped by 8.2 percent to 1.66 MMT in the quarter from 1.81 MMT in the same period in 2018.
The crop’s harvest area also decreased by 8.6 percent to 559,030 MT from 611,800 MT year-on-year. Yield per hectare, however, improved to 2.97 MT from 2.95 MT.
The decline in output was highest in Region 2 at 0.15 MMT or 42.2 percent. This was followed by Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) at 0.02 MMT and Region 4A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon provinces, or Calabarzon) at 0.01 MMT.
Of the total production, yellow corn accounted for 69.6 percent and white corn, the remaining 30.4 percent.
Yellow corn output reached 1.15 MMT, down 10.9 percent from 2018’s 1.30 MMT. Top producers of this corn type were Regions 10 (Northern Mindanao), 12 (South Cotabato, Cotabao, Sultan Kudarat and Saragani provinces and Gen. Santos City, or Soccsksargen) and 2 with a combined 71.2 percent.
For white corn, production hit 500,000 MT, down 1.2-percent from 510,00 MT year-on-year. Regions 10, 11 (Davao) 12 and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao accounted for 70 percent of the total.