The Philippines is poised to end the year with an all-time high yield in palay despite losing 419,560 metric tons (MT) of the main staple due to several typhoons that took place during the fourth quarter of the year.
Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the country’s palay production for 2020 would reach 19.44 million metric tons (MT), comprised of the actual production of 11.9 million MT from January to September and projected harvest of 7.54 million MT for the fourth quarter, based on standing crop as of November 1, 2020.
The projected record yield is 3.3 percent more last year’s output of 18.81 million MT and surpasses the previous production record of 19.27 million MT attained in 2017.
In his latest statement, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that sans the typhoons, the “Philippines could have produced more this year”.
From January to November this year, the country lost a total of 419,560 MT of palay worth P6.94 billion due mostly to four strong typhoons in October and November.
To be specific, “Ulysses” wiped out 145,800 MT of palay, while Quinta resulted in the loss of 112,000 MT of unhusked rice.
Rolly and Pepito, on the other hand, destroyed 64,250 MT and 63,160 MT of palay, respectively.
Nevertheless, Dar attributed the still relatively high palay production to “resilience and hard work of our country’s farmers, and strong support of our local government units and the private sector, who altogether contributed to attaining such remarkable feat”.
“Despite the unprecedented challenges, from logistical nightmare brought about by the pandemic to the series of typhoons that hit major production areas in the country, our rice sector continues to post significant growth,” he said.
For 2021, the DA is targetting a conservative production of 20.48 million MT to a high of 20.66 million MT.
DA said that next year, the agency will focus on providing farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) drying equipment and facilities to increase the farmgate prices of palay.
“We will pursue said initiative as part of our farm clustering and consolidation strategy, dubbed as ‘Bayanihan Agri Cluster’ or BAC, to attain economies of scale. This will enable FCAs to attain bigger harvest, reduce their cost of operations, and thus earn bigger incomes,” Dar further said.