Rice, corn production in Ilocos Region up in 2014

By Freddie G. Lazaro

LAOAG CITY – Farmers from the four provinces in the Ilocos posted a slight increase in rice and corn production for 2014 despite the onslaught of Typhoon Mario in the third quarter of the year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 1 said.

Based on the agency’s 2013 – 2014 roadmap, DA Region 1 Executive Director Valentin C. Perdido said that the region had reached its production target on rice alone contributing at least 10 percent to the country’s buffer stock for 2014.

Perdido made the announcement during the recently concluded National Conference on Agriculture and Fisheries held at the Teatro Ilocandia of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) in Batac City.

From 1,750,007 metric tons (MT) in 2013, crop production went up to an aggregate yield of 1,765,000 MT this year or an increase of 15 MT.

With this production output, Perdido said that Region 1 became the top four rice producing-region in the country which contributed at least 10 percent to the 18,439,406 MT national output this year.

“Although the roadmap showed that Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur suffered a slight decrease of their productions which is from a joint production of 527,000 MT in 2013 to 504,000 MT this year; Pangasinan and La Union filled in the productivity gap by contributing a little higher this year,” Perdido said adding that from the two provinces’ aggregate production of 1,223,000 MT in 2013, it harvested 1,261,000 MT this year.

Meanwhile, the production of corn, the considered main crop after rice, has continued to increase in the four provinces. From an aggregate production of 453,017 MT in 2013, it went up to 488,506.

With this corn output, Region 1 became the number five corn producing area in the country which contributed at least 6.1 to the 7,377,706 MT of corn produced this year.

“If this good production trend continues to happen in the next seasons, we will expect to harvest 517,123 MT in 2015 and about 548,453 MT in 2016,” he forecasted.

Farmers in the four provinces have been enjoying their production output in corn since 2011. In Pangasinan, for instance, from a yield of 296,532 MT in 2013, it went up to 316,847 MT in 2014. If weathers prevail in the next cropping seasons, the province can project 335,084 MT in 2015 and 353,999 MT in 2016.

The same thing happened in Ilocos Norte this year. From an overall output of 56,867 MT in 2013, it went up to 65,126 MT this year or an increase of 8,867 MT. With this production flow, Dr. Perdido can project a 69,709 MT yield in 2015 and 74,706 MT in 2016.

Other commodities with increased yields were vegetables and meat which contributed much to the region’s self-sufficiency in food. This year, production of high-value commercial vegetables went up from 167 percent to 169 percent, while volume of meat products had a hairline increase from 122 percent to 123 percent.#