PH’s pineapple, watermelon growers post record ROI

Published October 2, 2020, 1:48 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

Pineapple and watermelon are currently the most profitable fruit commodities in the Philippines with growers posting record high return of investments (ROI) of 377 percent and 220 percent, respectively among other fruit growers in 2019.

At 70, Tata Aldong still plows and tills the land, and even harvest pineapples.

This is based on the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) updated production cost and returns of selected agriculture commodities data, which listed down how much farmers and growers made out of a certain commodity in 2019.

Aside from pineapple and watermelon, other profitable fruit commodities are calamansi, durian, and mango, while papaya had a negative net return last year.

PSA’s report came as the Department of Agriculture (DA) is now encouraging more people, particularly millenials and returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), to venture into the agriculture sector. 
According to the report, pineapple production in 2019 incurred an average cost of P94,927 per hectare, while for each hectare, an average yield of 41,604 kilograms was recorded, which has a gross value of P453,070.

Less of cash costs, returns amounted to P377,979 per hectare, while returns averaged P376,796 per hectare when both cash and non-cash costs were deducted. Net of all costs, returns figured to P358,143 per hectare.

On a per kilogram basis, production cost averaged P2.28, while farmgate price stood at P 10.89. This means that pineapple producers netted P3.77 for every peso of investment.

As for watermelon, the cost of producing a hectare of this fruit averaged P78,421 in 2019, while gross earnings amounted to P250,597 from an average yield of 16,596 kilograms per hectare.

Returns settled at P201,010 per hectare, after subtracting cash costs. Less the cash and non-cash costs, returns amounted to P200,317 per hectare, sending the average net returns per hectare to P172,176.

This means that at a production cost of P4.73 per kilogram, farmers sold a kilo of watermelon for P15.10.
Next to watermelon and pineapple, calamansi farmers recorded an ROI of 99 percent, having an average maintenance cost of P76,890 per hectare in 2019 and an average yield per hectare of 6,422 kilograms worth P153,218.

The average cost of producing a kilogram of calamansi during that time was P11.97, while they were sold at a farmgate price of P23.86 per kilogram.

Meanwhile, the cost of maintaining a hectare of durian production averaged P108,072 last year. With an average yield of 4,754 kilograms per hectare, gross earnings amounted to P186,732.

To be specific, the production cost of durian was P22.73 per kilogram, while the price received by farmers was P39.28 per kilogram.

As for mango, the cost to maintain a hectare of this fruit commodity stood at P92,421 per hectare in 2019. Of this, gross returns amounted to P156,336 from an average yield of 3,954 kilograms per hectare.

Per kilogram, the production cost of mango was P23.37, while farmgate price was recorded at P39.54.

Papaya production, however, entailed an average maintenance cost of P178,359 per hectare in 2019. With an average yield per hectare of 21,377 kilograms, gross receipts amounted to only P172,187.

As for the average cost of papaya production per kilogram, it stood at P8.34, while farmers were able to sell them for only P8.05 per kilogram.   

Right now, the DA, in partnership with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK), has been trying to entice people to venture into the agriculture sector to significantly increase the country’s total food production. 

In May, DA’s Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC) had set aside P2.5 billion to bankroll the agency’s three loan programs, which are meant to assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), OFWs, and millennials venturing into agriculture.   
These loan programs are being provided with zero interest, free training, and government-led technical and marketing assistance.  

“We are opening our doors to OFWs,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar. “[So they can] join the ranks of our new breed of agri-preneurs, who will help us revive and reboot the countryside”.

Dar at that time just recently held a teleconference with Gemma Sotto, chairperson of the United Filipino Global International, and dozens of government officials and leaders of OFW organizations in the Middle East, US and Australia, among other countries.

During the virtual meeting, Dar enumerated ACPC’s loan programs, including the Expanded SURE-Aid and Recovery Project (SURE COVID-19), Kapital Access for Young Agri-prenuers (KAYA), and Agri-Negosyo (ANYO).

“Now is the time to tap the OFW sector as they start to reintegrate themselves back to their respective homes, communities and provinces,” Dar said.