BACOLOD City – Rice production of Negros Occidental increased by almost 36 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
From January to March, the province produced 80,069 metric tons (MTs) from only 59,020 MTs in the same period last year.
PSA data also showed that more or less 65,000 MTs of rice were produced in irrigated farms while 15,652 MT came from rain-fed areas.
As of March 2017, much of the palay harvest in Negros Occidental came from 22,610 hectares (has.) of farms (17,410 has. of irrigated sites and 5,200 has. of rain-fed farms).
The total area for palay farming in the first three months of 2017 was 30 percent higher than the 17,376 has. in January to March 2016.
Average yield for palay was 3.54 MT per hectare, higher than the previous year’s 3.4 MT.
Joely Cabarles, officer-in-charge of PSA-Negros Occidental, said in a report Thursday that the increase in production can be attributed mainly to the absence of adverse effects of El Niño in the early part of the year.
Cabarles added that the same percentage of increase in production is expected from the second quarter onwards.
“With sufficient water as indicator, production towards the end of the year is expected to be even higher,” Cabarles said.
He noted that palay production in Negros Occidental increased by almost 100,000 MT in the last 10 years.
Cabarles added that if the almost 23,000 has. of rain-fed areas are irrigated, an additional 70,000 MT of palay will be harvested in the three cropping seasons. (EPN/PNA)