‘Palay,’ corn production to exceed DA targets
Written by : JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ
The Philippines expects to exceed its palay (unmilled rice) and corn production targets for the first quarter of this year because of favorable weather conditions, officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Thursday.
“Based on the latest field report, we may exceed our rice production target by 3 [percent] to 5 percent in the first quarter alone,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said in an interview.
He added that they are still waiting for the official data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS).
Based on BAS report released in January 2012, palay production for the first quarter, based on standing crop, may reach 4.035 million metric tons (MT). This is 0.1 percent below last year’s level of 4.037 million MT.
BAS also said that harvest area may decline by 0.8 percent to 1.089 million hectares from 1.098 million hectares in 2011, while yield per hectare may go up to 3.70 MT from 3.68 MT in 2011.
For January to June 2012, the agency said that palay production may reach 7.78 million MT, or 2.7 percent above the 2011 level of 7.58 million MT.
Harvest area may increase by 1.4 percent, or from 1.993 million hectares in 2011 to 2.020 million hectares this year. Yield per hectare may also improve 3.85 MT this year.
Meanwhile, the DA also expects corn production to be higher in the first quarter of 2012 because of favorable weather and the accessibility of farm implements.
In a telephone interview, Milo delos Reyes, head of the DA’s national corn program secretariat, said that preliminary field data showed a rise in output from January to March compared to the same period last year.
“One of the main reasons for the increase in the favorable weather and stable prices of inputs,” he said.
Based on a BAS report, corn production for the first quarter of 2012 is expected to reach 1.97 million MT or 3 percent higher than the 1.91 million MT recorded in the previous year.
The DA has set a corn production target of 7.856 million MT for this year. In 2011, corn production reached 6.97 million MT.
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