By Restituto A. Cayubit
Tacloban City – Leyte was the biggest rice producer in Eastern Visayas last year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Wilma A. Perante, PSA regional director, told Manila Bulletin that among the six provinces in Eastern Visayas, Leyte had the highest volume of palay at 481,487 metric tons, a little more than half the total for the region.
Eastern Samar had the smallest production (59,754 MT) accounting for only 6.3 percent, Perante said.
Overall, palay production in Eastern Visayas dropped by 1.0 percent, from 954,844 MT in 2016 to 945,565 MT in 2017.
But the total harvest area for palay in the region inched up by 1.8 percent, from 268,110 hectares in 2016 to 272,889 hectares in 2017.
Palay area harvested rose in all provinces, except for Biliran and Southern Leyte, which had decreases of 2.6 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.
Perante said Leyte had more than two-fifths or 43.4 percent (481,487 hectares) of the total palay area harvested in 2017, while Biliran contributed the least (14,383 hectares), accounting for only 5.3 percent.
Palay yield in the region went down by 2.7 percent, from 3.6 MT per hectare in 2016 to 3.5 MT per hectare in 2017, she said.
Biliran had the highest yield per hectare at 4.5 MT in 2017 and Eastern Samar the lowest at 2.6 MT.