Rice, corn production in Mindanao up in 1st Quarter

Aug. 04, 2008

Mindanao is living up to its tagline as the country’s food basket by posting robust performance in rice and corn production during the first quarter of 2008.

Data from the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) show that the island produced a total of 999, 212 metric tons of rice during the first three months, up by 4.78 percent from the same period last year.

A large bulk of the rice output came from region 12, which contributed a total of 380, 327metric tons to the total production.

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and region 11 also boosted the total rice production by contributing 193,228 and 142,928 metric tons, respectively.

Among the Mindanao regions, Caraga registered the highest growth at 12.85 percent.

This was followed by region 10 at 10.92 percent, region 12 at 10.11percent, region nine at 5.93 percent and Region 11 at 4.06 percent, while ARMM registered a negative growth of 9.10 percent.

“We would like to reiterate that the current rice supply is sufficient to meet the daily requirements of the island and the current rice prices are expected to go down during the harvest season,” said undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, chair of the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) said.

Around 3,546,120 bags of rice are reportedly needed to meet the rice requirements before the harvest season in August. The rice inventory is expected to reach 3.805 million bags of rice. This implies a sufficient rice supply to meet the needs during the lean months from June to September. Rice supply, however, is expected to rise during the harvest season in August.

Meanwhile, corn production hit a double-digit growth of 22.31 percent in the first quarter, marking a total output of 883,409 metric tons from just 722, 269 metric tons in the same period last year.

Caraga region also registered the highest growth of corn output at 56.55 percent.

Following Caraga in terms of corn production growth are region XI at 51.38 percent, region ten at 40.18 percent, region 12 at 35.51 percent.

Region nine registered a negative growth of 2.10 percent, with the ARMM registering a negative 9.10 percent for rice, and a negative 11.09 percent for corn.

Leyretana said that Mindanao’s resiliency in agricultural production especially rice and corn only shows the island’s competitive edge in agriculture. He added that, with the positive results brought about by critical interventions of the Arroyo government, hopes are high for the agriculture sector in Mindanao becoming a major player in the country’s economic recovery.

“With the kind of momentum shown by Mindanao’s rice and corn production, we are looking at surpassing this year’s targets,” Leyretana said. ( MEDCo).

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