Dry spell hits Q3 production of major crops
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - December 9, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The effects of El Niño have affected the production of some of the coun- try’s top industrial crops during the third quarter of the year, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.

Among the country’s top industrial crops are coconut, abaca, coffee, rubber, sugarcane and tobacco.

In its latest Major Non-Food and Industrial Crops bulletin, the PSA said sugarcane production fell 41.8 percent to 0.89 million metric tons (MT) from July to September.

Production of sugarcane for centrifugal sugar, which accounted for 86 percent of the total sugarcane production, dropped by 46 percent.

The reduction in output was also attrib- uted to the decrease in area harvested due to the effect of the dry spell in the first half as observed in Negros Occidental and the stunted canes harvested due to the effect of the dry spell in Negros Oriental.

Western Visayas was the top sugar- producing region in the country during the period, accounting for more than 80 percent of the national sugarcane output during the period.

Rubber production also fell 6.2 percent in the third quarter to 97,930 MT due to the drying-up of some rubber trees and low buying price of cup lump in North Cotabato.

Coconut production decreased 0.3 per- cent to 3.93 million MT, largely due to the cutting of old trees in Davao Region and the effect of the dry spell in Sarangani and Bohol during the first semester.

The decrease in number of coconut trees due to the effect of Typhoon Ruby in Eastern Samar and the minimal harvest due to the effect of low buying price of copra in Zamboanga del Sur also lowered production.

Meanwhile, production of abaca fiber went up 5.4 percent to 18,100 MT primar- ily due to the favorable weather for strip- ping, good price of fiber in the market, and increased demand in Agusan provinc- es, Surigao del Sur, Aklan, Catanduanes,

and Bukidnon. Coffee pro- duction also grew 1.7 per- cent to 7,050 MT on the back of higher yield due to technical assistance ex- tended to farm-

ers. Higher num-

ber of bearing trees in Sultan Kudarat and Agusan del Sur and the effect of pruning in Bukidnon con- tributed to the growth.

Of the total coffee produc- tion, 61.2 per- cent comprised Robusta, 31.7 percent was Ara- bica, 6.4 percent (Excelsa) and 0.8 percent (Li- berica).

Soccskargen remained as the country’s top- producing re- gion.

Production of tobacco of all varieties slight- ly rose 0.5 per- cent to 544,760 MT.

Virginia to- bacco produc- tion surged 120 percent to 110,000 MT due to contract growing scheme provided to farmers by pri- vate institutions in Claveria, Misamis Orien-

tal.N o r t h e r n Mindanao, the top tobacco producing re- gion during the quarter, comprised 97.3 percent of the aggregate volume.

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