Banana production in the third quarter of the year declined by 1.9 percent to 2.3 million metric tons (MMT), from 2.34 MMT recorded a year ago, according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
The PSA blamed El Niño, as well as Typhoon Nona (international code name Melor), which hit the country in December 2015, for the lower output of the banana sector in the July-to-September period.
“This could be attributed to the following reasons: smaller fruits harvested and lesser hills bore fruits in North and South Cotabato due to the effect of drought in the previous quarters,” the PSA said in its latest report.
“Nona also caused a decrease in the number of fruit-bearing hills in Oriental Mindoro,” it added.
Cavendish variety comprised 51.1 percent of the total banana production during the July-to-September period, according to the PSA. Cavendish banana output grew 2.6 percent to 1.17 MMT, from 1.14 MMT recorded a year ago.
The output of lakatan and saba varieties posted declines during the third quarter. Lakatan production fell by 245,147 metric tons (MT), from 267,181 MT recorded a year ago, while saba declined by 6.7 percent to 654,018 MT.
Saba and lakatan varieties accounted for 28.4 percent and 10.6 percent of total banana output, respectively, according to the PSA.
Davao region was the top banana producer for the third quarter, accounting for 39.37 percent of output in the third quarter. The region’s banana production grew 3.2 percent to 907,501 MT, from 879,781 MT recorded in the same period last year.
“Higher production was reported in Davao region due to increase in area and number of bearing hills harvested for Cavendish variety,” the PSA report said.
In the same report the PSA said pineapple production during the July-to-September period declined 1.6 percent, from the 2015 level of 662,756 MT to 673,474 MT.
“The increase was brought about by the following: increase in area harvested in corporate farms in Bukidnon; and bigger fruits produced in Camarines Sur due to more fertilizer usage,” the report read.
Northern Mindanao registered the largest production at 411,330 MT accounting for 61.1 percent of the national output, the PSA said.
The PSA report also indicated that mango production declined 8.7 percent to 58,603 MT, from 64,206 MT same time period last year.
The decrease in mango production was attributed to unstable climatic conditions resulting in stunted growth of trees, the PSA said.
“The sudden change in weather resulted to shedding of fruits during the third quarter,” the PSA said. “Lesser trees induced in Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga City due to anticipation of rainfall in July. Lower yield and fewer trees bore fruits in North and South Cotabato caused by drought in the previous quarters.”
Carabao mango accounted for 79.4 percent of the country’s total mango production during the reference period, the PSA said. However, carabao mango production decreased by 8.4 percent to 46,531 MT, from 50,775 MT recorded a year ago.
PSA figures also showed that calamansi production posted the steepest decline among the major fruit crops. Calamansi output in the third quarter plunged 42.7 perent to 56,019 MT, from 97,716 MT recorded in July to September 2016.