Palay, corn output seen down in Q1
The country’s palay and corn production in the first quarter of the year is seen to drop due to the effects of El Niño, government data showed.
However, improvements in yield per hectare for both crops were noted as more farmers embraced the use of quality and hybrid seeds.
Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) latest forecast, palay and corn output was expected to fall by 1.8 percent and 1.7 percent from previous estimates in January to 4.56 million metric tons (MT) and 2.51 million MT, respectively.
Compared to year-ago levels, palay production would be lower by 1.3 percent while corn output may be higher by 1.2 percent.
Palay and corn lands were reported to be the most affected by the El Niño phenomenon, since these crops heavily rely on water. As of the first week of April, the estimated damage inflicted on these crops by the dry spell reached P5.05 billion.
Despite the huge losses, the Department of Agriculture said the majority of these crops were already harvested and might not have a huge effect on consumer and producer prices.
PSA data showed that of the standing crops for palay and corn, about 41.2 percent and 64 percent were already harvested. Yield per hectare is also expected to improve to 3.96 MT for palay and 3.54 MT for corn.
Better yields may offset the decline in harvest area for both crops, as reported by the PSA.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.