By Restituto Cayubit
TACLOBAN CITY – The province of Leyte is leading rice production in Eastern Visayas, according to a report from the Philippine Statistics Authority – Regional Statistical Service Office 8 (PSA-RSSO 8), which is based in this city.
PSA-RSSO Regional Director Wilma A. Perante told The Manila Bulletin that Leyte recorded the biggest area harvested for palay at 36,190 hectares in the fourth quarter of 2019, comprising almost half or 49.7 percent of the total area harvested for palay in the region.
Perante reported that Samar came next with 18,574 hectares or 25.5 percent of area harvested for palay. Southern Leyte followed at 6,674 hectares or 9.2 percent.
She further reported that palay production in Eastern Visayas dropped by 7.7 percent, from 290,871 metric tons (MT) in the 4th quarter of 2018 to 268,382 MT in the same quarter of 2019.
“Similarly, the total area harvested for palay decreased to 72,797 hectares in the 4th quarter of 2019 from 78,017 ha recorded in the same quarter of previous year, a decline by 6.7 percent,” Perante said.
Consequently, yield for palay in the region decreased to 3.69 Metric Tons per Hectare (MT/ha) in the 4th quarter of 2019 from 3.73 MT/ha in the 4th quarter of 2018, Perante also reported.
The director said that among the provinces, Biliran recorded the highest yield per hectare at 4.37 MT/ha during the 4th quarter of 2019.
However, this figure was 1.6 percent lower compared with the 4.44 MT/ha recorded in the same quarter of 2018.
Southern Leyte closely followed at 4.06 MT/Ha, which is also 1.5 percent lower from 4.12 MT yield per hectare in the same quarter of 2018.
Leyte ranked third with 4.05 MT/ha, also posted a decrease of 0.6 percent from its figure in the same quarter of 2018.
Eastern Samar ranked fourth with 3.48 MT/ha from 3.64 MT/ha recorded in the same quarter of 2018, a decrease by 4.4 percent.