Bicol posts increase in palay, corn yields

Palay harvest in the Bicol region has increased to 631,386 metric tons during the first six months of 2020 amidst the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The figure is 62,000 metric tons more than 2019’s palay harvest for the same period, according to data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Meanwhile, corn harvest posted an increase of 24 percent in production from 115,815 metric tons in the first semester of 2019 to 143,521 metric tons for the same period this year.

Rodel Tornilla, Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol chief said the department's campaign on the use of high yielding rice seed varieties and appropriate technologies was responsible for the increase in harvest.

The DA distributed hybrid palay seeds to rice farmers amounting to P384 million under the National Rice Program and Quick Response Fund. Quality seeds and extension services were also provided under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund.

Tornilla also attributed the increase in palay ouput to the mounting production in rainfed and irrigated areas, which were prioritized in the distribution of high quality seeds under the various projects of the Rice Program. On the other hand, the increase in corn output was partly attributed to the postharvest facilities and farm machineries provided to the farmers by the Corn Program.

DA also cited the absence of severe weather disturbances in the first semester of 2020, except Typhoon Ambo, as one of the factors that fueled the increase.

PSA also reported an increase in palay and corn output at the national level with 7.1 percent and to 15.4 percent respectively. (PIA5/CEB/Lovella P. Guarin-DA RAFIS 5)