GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 February) – Palay and corn production in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region posted significant improvements last year as it firmed up its position as among the top grains producer in Mindanao and the entire country.
Herlita Caraan, National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) Region 12 director, said the region’s palay and corn yields soared to 1.244 million and 1.170 million metric tons (MT), respectively, mainly due to the relatively favorable weather patterns in the area last year.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
Citing data from the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), Caraan said the area’s palay production increased by five percent compared to its 1.185 million MT yield in 2010.
She said the area’s palay production dropped by 3.6 percent in 2010 based on the 2009 records due to the impact of the dry spell that hit the region’s farm lands during the first two quarters.
With last year’s improved palay production, the official said “the region maintained its position as the fifth largest palay-producing region of the country and Mindanao’s top palay producer.”
Central Luzon remained as the country’s top palay producer with 2.616 million MT followed by Western Visayas with 2.245 million MT, Cagayan Valley’ with 2.145 million MT and Ilocos Region with 1.602 million MT.
In terms of corn production, Caraan said Region 12’s total yield of 1.170 million MT last year accounts for 16.8 percent of the total national production.
“Corn production in 2011 was 10 percent higher over the 1.064 million MT production in 2010, a reversal of the 7.2-percent decline in production (compared to 2009) due mainly to the dry spell that hit the region during the period,” she said in a statement released on Thursday.
The official said the region was the third largest corn-producing region in 2011 after Cagayan Valley with 1.602 millon MT and Northern Mindanao with 1.212 million MT.
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) corn production reached 797,000 MT, which is the fourth largest nationwide based on BAS records.
Across the region, Caraan said Cotabato Province remained as the biggest palay producer last year with 481,000 MT, accounting for 38.7 percent of the region’s total palay yield.
She said Cotabato ranked 8th among the top rice-producing provinces in the country in 2011 while Sultan Kudarat took the 11th spot with 404,200 MT.
For corn, she said South Cotabato produced 428,700 MT or 36.6 percent of the total regional output last year. The province ranked fourth among the largest corn-producing province in the country in 2011.
Caraan said Cotabato Province produced 379,900 MT (32.5 percent) followed by Sultan Kudarat with 226,900 MT (19.4 percent). Cotabato Province and Sultan Kudarat ranked fifth and 10th nationwide,
respectively. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)