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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesMonday, July 8, 2013
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Agri down 9.9%

Central Visayas agriculture sector’s production growth dropped from 36.9 percent in 2011 to 9.9 percent in 2012, an economic situation from the National Economic Development Authority 7 showed.

The region’s total production in 2012 was placed at 4.115 million metric tons, according to records from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics. Crop production registered a yield of 3.5 million metric tons, largely brought about by industrial and commercial production.

Its total output dropped 11.4 percent. While industrial and commercial producers, which produce the bulk of the crops grown in the region, grew their yield at 51.5 percent in 2011, they dropped 14.5 percent in 2012, accounting for 2.5 million metric tons.

Rice and fruits posted positive growth, but they were unable to match the figures they posted in 2011. Rice grew at 1.3 percent last year, against the 19.4 percent in 2011, while the fruits subsector grew at 2.1 percent as opposed to 4.5 percent the previous year.

Sugarcane harvest, considered a major industrial/commercial crop, dropped 17.7 percent due to less use of fertilizer in sugarcane plantations in Negros Oriental.

The province also bore the brunt of natural calamities, being struck by a major typhoon and earthquake, affecting crop production.

The NEDA report stated there was no sugarcane harvest in Cebu in the third quarter of 2012, while the early harvest in the fourth quarter of 2011 led to lower production levels for the first half of 2012.

According to a regional economic situationer prepared by NEDA 7, corn production has been down for the most of 2012, save for the second quarter.

“A major contributory factor to the lower output could be the almost 3.0 per cent drop in the area planted to corn. In Cebu, several corn farms were planted to cassava instead of corn as a result of the contract growing program of San Miguel Corporation,” the report read.

It further stated that some corn farmers in the region shifted to planting other crops such as mongo, camote, eggplant, spring onions, patola, and cucumber. In the towns of Dauis and Panglao and in Bohol, land conversion was seen as a contributing factor that led to the reduction of areas for corn planting.

Vegetable production also went down by 10.7 percent. Continuing its downward trend was the fisheries sector, which further dropped 1.5 percent to 236,360 metric tons. The biggest contributor to fisheries is aquaculture, which fell by 1.2 percent last year, failing to outdo its 4.7 growth in 2011.

The low demand for groupers and oysters discouraged fishermen from increasing their output, affecting production in the first half of 2012. Rehabilitation works in some fishponds affected production in Cebu. Seaweed farmers also produced less due to the presence of epiphytes bacteria in farms in Bohol. Commercial and municipal fishers also lessened their yields by around two percent.

Of the sectors in agriculture, livestock and poultry realized production gains due to sustained demand for livestock and poultry products by households, food manufacturers, restaurants, hotels and resorts in and surrounding Central Visayas.

Livestock production reached 196,527 metric tons in 2012, growing 1.5 percent while poultry registered production volume of 129,631, growing 3.7 percent from the previous year.

Swine production comprised the bulk of livestock, growing 1.9 percent to 155,745 metric tons. Chicken production was at 87,414 metric tons, up 3.7 percent.*PNA

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