Saturday, 5 December 2009

RP’s corn production expected to breach 7M tons in 2009

Jennifer A. Ng
Business Mirror

CORN production in 2009 is projected to grow by 1.63 percent to 7.041 million metric tons (MMT) despite the adverse effect of climate change on domestic crop production.

Although first-semester corn production was at 3.22 MMT or 2.27-percent lower than last year’s 3.29 MMT, output for the year’s second half is projected to increase 5.16 percent to 3.82 MMT.

In a report to Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Romeo Recide, director of the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), said that for the July-September period, corn production surpassed last year’s output by 5.17 percent from 2.26 MMT to 2.37 MMT, largely due to the expansion of harvest areas and the improvement in per-hectare yields.

Agriculture Assistant Secretary Dennis Araullo said that other initiatives helped corn’s increased production, like the National Food Authority’s (NFA) adjustment of corn support price to P13 per kilogram from P11 per kilo.

Araullo also pointed to the significant increase in the NFA’s corn procurement this year which helped stabilize prices.

Recide reported to Yap that harvest areas grew by 3.10 percent from 921,000 hectares to 949,000 hectares in the third quarter, with the per-hectare yield jumping by 2.01 percent from 2.45 MT to 2.5 MT per hectare (MT/ha).

Moreover, “inspite of the damages caused by Tropical Storm Ondoy and typhoons Pepeng, Ramil and Santi, the standing crop for the October-December 2009 period points to a production gain of 5.15 percent from last year’s level of 1.38 MMT to 1.45 MMT,” Recide said in his report.

He said that for this period, expected harvest area may expand 0.51 percent from 604,000 hectares to 607,000 hectares while yield may improve by 4.61 percent from 2.29 MT per hectare to 2.39 MT/ha.

Recide said there were significant corn production increases in Cagayan Valley , Northern Mindanao, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) during the year’s third quarter.

For the July-September period, corn output in Cagayan Valley increased by 13.42 percent or an additional 75,390 MT; in Northern Mindanao , 18.42 percent or 75,320 MT; and ARMM, 15.2 percent or 35,020 MT.

Recide said for the last quarter of the year, production in ARMM is expected to grow by 21.9 percent or 57,200 MT due to the massive plantings in idle and forest lands and in areas damaged by typhoons Jolina and Kiko, which led to the expansion in harvest areas by 31.42 percent or 23,880 hectares.

He also noted that there would also be a remarkable increase in corn production in Cagayan Valley in the October-December period by 52.65 percent or 53,070 MT as the harvest area there may expand by 58.73 percent or 16,570 hectares due to plantings of in-fallow and newly opened areas.

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