Production of palay, or unhusked rice, in Western Visayas increased by 12.15 percent in the first semester of this year compared to the same period last year, Remelyn Recoter, director of the Department of Agriculture Region 6, said.
The palay production this year reached 753,832.24 metric tons compared to last year’s 672,152.53 MT, based on the report of the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Recoter said that despite the coronavirus crisis, the resiliency of rice farmers in the region continues and that they manifested dedication and commitment to provide sufficient, affordable, and safe food for everybody.
“Our farmers are situated in the rural areas wherein during the enhanced community quarantine period when transportation was restricted, they still found enough time to monitor, supervise, and manage their rice lands,” she added.
Of the total production in the region, either irrigated, rainfed, or upland, Iloilo had the highest yield at 352,416.38 MT followed by Capiz with 179,345.01 MT, Negros Occidental - 107,821 MT, Aklan - 52,223.85 MT, Antique - 46,890 MT, and Guimaras - 15,136 MT.
Last year, Iloilo was also the top producer with 298,376.53 MT of palay.
Recoter said that this year, the province of Antique recorded the highest yield with 3.60 MT per hectare, followed by Negros Occidental with 3.56 MT per hectare.
She said she is optimistic that with the interventions given to rice farmers under the agency’s Rice Resiliency Program, Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, and the regular rice program, particularly on the distribution of seeds and fertilizer this wet season, the region would play a big role in ensuring rice sufficiency in the country this year.
She said that Western Visayas contributed 2.077 million MT, or 11.04 percent of the 18.814 million MT national rice production in 2019.
She added that Western Visayas is one of three regions in the country, along with Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley, with major contributions to the national palay production.*
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