Improved demand, prices drive up output of crops

The country’s cassava output in the third quarter grew 1.4 percent to 608,060 metric tons (MT), from the 599,390 MT recorded in the same period last year, according to the latest report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

In its report, titled “Major Vegetables and Root Crops Quarterly Bulletin for July to September 2016,” the PSA said the growth in cassava production could be attributed to the increase in area harvested in Cagayan Valley due to sustained demand for cassava for industrial use and provision of marketing assistance from private companies, such as San Miguel Corp. (SMC), “and more area harvested in Bohol due to resumption of operation of Liwayway Marketing Corp. [LMC].”

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao remained as the country’s top cassava producer, contributing 43.58 percent of the total production. However, the region’s production declined 3.1 percent to 364,994 MT, from the 273,593 MT recorded for the same period last year.

In the same report, the PSA said four other major vegetable and root crops in the country posted growth in the July-to-September period: cabbage (up 4.2 percent), eggplant (up 0.8 percent), tomato (up 1.6 percent), mongo (up 9 percent).

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“[The growth] was brought about by the increase in area planted on rainfed palay areas in Cagayan due to good market price, planting of mongo instead of palay in some areas in Davao del Norte due to its higher resistance to dry weather and more area harvested in Agusan del Sur due to lesser occurrence of rains,” the PSA added.

The PSA said cabbage production in the July-to-September period grew slightly by 4.2 percent from 17,280 MT in 2015 to 18,010 MT this year.  The growth may be attributed to the shifting of some areas in Benguet from white potato production due to good market price, while bigger heads were also harvested in Mountain Province and Cebu due to sufficient rainfall, the PSA said.

Tomato production in the third quarter reached 26,500 MT, 1.6 percent higher than the 2015 level of 26,070 MT, according to the PSA report. Eggplant production also grew in the said period to 41,060 MT from 40,750 MT recorded in the same period last year, the PSA said.

Meanwhile, the country’s production for onion, peanut and sweet potato posted decline in the July-to-September period. Sweet potato production declined to 133,941 MT, 2.5 percent lower than the 137,366 MT recorded in the same period last year. Peanut production decreased to 3,717 MT from 3,754 MT.

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