Crop production up in last quarter
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The favorable climatic condition in the country has improved the production of some of the country’s top industrial crops during the last quarter of 2017, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported.

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 increased 14 percent to 7.2 million metric tons (MT).

Production of sugarcane for centrifugal sugar, which accounted for more than 95 percent of the total sugarcane production, also went up 15 percent.

The better output was attributed to the increase in yield due to favourable weather, increase in area planted and improved prices.

Western Visayas remains the top sugar producing region in the country, with 79 percent of the national sugarcane output during the period.

Coconut production went up  3.8 percent to 3.9 million MT due to the increase in the number of bearing trees, adequate rains, and the recovery from the dry spell.

Rubber production also rose nine percent to 138,240 MT due to more tapping activities prompted by good buying price of cup lump in major areas.

On the other hand, production of tobacco of all varieties  decreased one percent to 958 MT due to lesser area harvested and shifting to rubber planting in some areas brought about by the declining demand from traders.

Northern Mindanao, the top tobacco producing region during the quarter, accounted for 99 percent of the aggregate.

Production of abaca fiber likewise went down four percent to 16,900 MT owing to limited harvest and less stripping activities.

Bicol region was the top abaca producer, accounting for 38 percent of the country’s total production. Eastern Visayas came next  with 18 percent, and Davao region with 13 percent.

Coffee production dropped 8.7 percent to 29,360 MT due to cutting of old and less productive trees, heavy rains during flowering and fruit development stage in some areas, and effects of fruit borers.

Of the total, 71.6 percent was Robusta, 23.3 percent Arabica, 4.2 percent were Excelsa, and one percent Liberica.

Soccskargen was the country’s top-producing region during the period.

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