MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) expects palay production to reach 7.90 million metric tons (MT) in the first six months of 2013, a flat growth rate from the 7.89 million MT recorded in the same period in 2012.
DA said palay production in the first half of the year would likely be spared from the adverse effects of the El Niño phenomenon in the summer at irrigation facilities have already been put in place and the transfer of the bulk of palay cultivation in the early part of the year.
In a report, DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) said the total harvest area may increase by 0.1 percent to 2.038 million hectares in the January to June this year from 2.036 million hectares in 2012.
Yield per hectare, however, may remain at 2012 level of 3.88 MT.
Based on standing crop, palay production in the first quarter of the year is forecast to reach 4.27 million MT, up by 7.1 percent from the output of 3.99 million MT in 2012.
Based on farmers’ planting intentions, April to June forecasts indicate reductions in production, harvest area and yield by 6.9 percent, 4.1 percent and three percent respectively.
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The expected drop in production during the second quarter was because most farmers opted to concentrate the bulk of palay production in the early part of the year.
“This time, we are more prepared. As long as we have sufficient irrigation, we should not worry,” said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.
The Agriculture Department is also encouraging farmers to participate in the early cropping scheme to increase the rice supply before the third quarter when palay supply is traditionally lean.
“We have to double time to encourage farmers to participate in early cropping so that in the third quarter, we will still have a good harvest,” said Alcala.