Davao City expects lower rice yield in 2015 due to El Niño

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 August) – The city has reduced its target rice output this year amid the threat of the El Niño phenomenon or dry spell that is expected to persist until August 2016, an official said.

Babeta M. Samodal, agriculturist II-rice report officer of City Agriculture Office, told reporters on Wednesday that the city was eyeing to hit 10,839.24 metric tons of rice production this year or 895.12 MT less than last year’s output of 11,734.36 MT.

“The impact of the dry spell is great, especially on the upland rice production,” she said.

As of July 2015, the city has so far produced 3,465.91 MT of rice, still way below half of its target this year.

Of the total, irrigated rice comprised the biggest chunk at 2,991.81 MT, followed by lowland rice at 399.25 MT, and upland rice 74.85 MT.

A rice field in Tamontaka, Cotabato cracks up due to the El Nino phenomenon. MindaNews file photo by Ferdinandh Cabrera
A rice field in Tamontaka, Cotabato cracks up due to the El Nino phenomenon. MindaNews file photo by Ferdinandh Cabrera

The city has 1,578.45 hectares planted to rice in the districts of Talomo, Buhangin, Paquibato, Toril, Tugbok, Calinan, Baguio and Marilog.

Calinan has the largest area planted to rice at 647.70 hectares. Tugbok came in second at 232.50 has, followed by Baguio at 205.50 has, and Marilog at 180.50 has.

The harvest came from 929.44 hectares.

According to the National Food Authority XI, the city has so far 500,000 bags of rice, each weighing 50 kilos, while the daily consumption is estimated at 10,000 bags.

Based on 2014 data, the rice sufficiency of the region was pegged at 52 percent, below its target at 58 percent.

In 2014, the region produced 300,630.77 MT while demand reached 522,321.80 MT. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)