NORTHERN Mindanao showed positive growth in the production of major crops in 2009 compared with the 2008 figure, posting an average of 4.6 percent.

Data from the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) showed that in 2009, the region produced 6.961-million metric tons (MT) of major crops valued at P113.744 million compared with the 2008 production of 6.654 million MT valued at P96.271 million.

Among the major crops produced in the region include vegetables, rootcrops, fruit crops and industrial crops such as abaca, cacao, cashew, coffee, palm fruit, rubber, sugarcane and tuba.

For vegetables, the Neda data showed that tomato registered the highest production last year with 52,056 MT compared with its 2008 figure of 50,451 MT followed by squash with 13,63 6 MT and Irish potato with 7,025 MT.

Other highest gainers for vegetables include cauliflower, pechay and carrots accounting for 34, 17 and 12 percent respectively while among the fruits, lanzones recorded a triple-digit increase at 241 percent followed by rambutan with 54 percent and durian with 34 percent.

For rootcrops, cassava posted the biggest production with 417,943 MT followed by camote with 29,437 MT. In 2008, cassava production only reached 348,971 MT while camote has 28,551 MT.

Among the fruit crops, banana registered the biggest production with 1.658 million MT compared with the 2008 figure of 1.631 million MT followed by pineapple with 1.027 million MT, papaya with 36,336 MT and mango with 35,869 MT.

For the industrial crops, sugarcane posted an increase of 5.32 percent with 3.603 million MT produced in 2009 compared with the 3.421 million MT in 2008. It was followed by rubber with 10,169 MT and coffee with 6,016 MT. In 2008, rubber production reached 10,079.

The overall upward trend in the production of major crops in the region was largely due to the triple-digit increase in industrial crops, particularly sugarcane.

article by Terry Betonio of Sun Star CDO

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