By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — The Western Visayas region is the country’s third biggest rice producer.
Remelyn Recoter, Department of Agriculture (DA-6) regional director, said Western Visayas produced more than 2.3 million metric tons of rice last year.
Recently released data showed the region comprising of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces also ranked second in total area harvested with 668, 861 hectares.
Recoter attributed the region’s fruitful harvest to the absence of major typhoon or pest outbreaks last year.
While the Western Visayas region had good production, the average regional yield slightly decreased. From 3.41 million metric tons per hectare in 2017, it went down to 3.34 million metric tons per hectare in 2018.
“Regardless, our region is still high in rice self-sufficiency at 121 percent. We hope to increase our yield this 2019,” Recoter added.
Senator Franklin Drilon will lead on Wednesday the groundbreaking ceremony for the P11.2-million mega dam project in Calinog town, Iloilo province. The dam is expected to double the rice production of Iloilo province, which ranked fourth nationwide last year with 939,332 metric tons.