PH palay production growth remains too slow
Palay production in the Philippines has been growing by a mere 1.3 percent yearly in the last five years, government data showed.
Latest figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that over the last five years, the country’s palay output grew to 19.28 million metric tons (MT) in 2017 from 18.44 million MT in 2013.
Likewise, harvest area for the crop grew at an annual rate of only 0.4 percent to 4.81 million hectares (ha) in 2017 from 4.75 million ha in 2013.
The increment in output, although minimal, was attributed to the increase in area harvested and yield.
Of the country’s total palay production in 2017, the PSA said 75.5 percent came from irrigated areas or areas that get regular water supply, while the remaining 24.5 percent were from rain-fed areas or areas that solely rely on rainfall for water. Most poor communities depend on rainfall for their farms.
Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Western Visayas, Ilocos and Bicol region remained the country’s major rice-producing areas during the period, accounting for 60.9 percent of the country’s total palay output.
Central Luzon—the “Rice Granary of the Philippines”— had the largest contribution at 3.3 million MT or 23 percent of the total irrigated output. This was followed by Cagayan Valley with 2.43 million MT and the combined output of Ilocos, Western Visayas, and Soccskargen at 3.58 million MT.
Rice remained the farm sector’s major growth driver, accounting for almost half of the country’s total annual agricultural output.
Following the negligible performance of the agriculture sector this year blamed mainly on the effects of strong typhoons, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the agency was not confident it would reach its target growth rate of 4 percent for 2018.
The poor production performance of the agricultural sector had been blamed for the slowdown of the country’s overall economic growth.
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