PALAY production in Northern Mindanao for the third quarter of 2009 has considerably increased compared with the same period last year.

Data from the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) showed that this year, the region had a double-digit increase of 17.8 percent, which translates to 139,351 metric tons (MT), over last year’s third quarter production of only 118,318 MT.

The Neda attributed the increase to a remarkable 42-percent rise in irrigated harvest areas in Bukidnon, although a decline of 4.3 percent in yield per hectare was noted in the province due to slight infestation of rice blast during the quarter.

The province of Camiguin also showed a significant increase this year, from 287 MT in 2008 to 332 MT in 2009.

Other provinces with a slight increase in palay production are Misamis Occidental with 6.57 percent and Misamis Oriental with 2.6 percent.

Only the province of Lanao del Norte registered a negative performance this year, with only 17,978 MT in the third quarter compared with the 2008 production of 21,322 MT.

The Neda said the decline was largely due to the deliberate cutting off of National Irrigation Administration’s (NIA) MRIS irrigation service from mid-April to mid-July to contain the spread of tungo that hit the area which prevented some farmers to plant palay for the third quarter harvest.

In terms of area harvested, Misamis Oriental posted an increase of 16.7 percent in rainfed areas due to the early onset of rainfall but in contrast, Misamis Occidental declined by 14.6 percent due to the late onset of rainfall in the municipalities of Baliangao and Sapang Dalaga.

With the increase of palay production, its value also grew by 19.86 percent, grossing at P2.007 billion compared with last year’s value of P1.674 million, which was largely due to the 17.8 growth in production and the 1.77 percent increase in farm gate price of palay, from P14.15 per kilo in 2008 to P14.40 per kilo in 2009.

article By Terry D.C. Betonio

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