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PIA Press Release

Rice, corn production in Mindanao up in 1st Quarter

Davao City (29 July) -- Mindanao is living up to its tagline as the country's food basketby posting robust performance in rice and corn production during the first quarter of 2008.

Data from the Department of Agriculture's (DA) Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) show that the island produced a total of 999,212 metric tons of rice during the first three months, up by 4.78% in the same period last year.

A large bulk of rice output came from Region XII which contributed a total of 380,327 metric tons to the total production.

ARMM and Region XI also boosted the total rice production by contributing 193,228 and 142, 928metric tons, respectively.

Among the Mindanao regions, Caraga registered the highest growth at 12.85%. This was followed by Region X at 10.92%, Region XII at 10.11%, Region IX at 5.93% and Region XI at 4.06% while ARMM registered negative growth at (9.10)%.

"We would like to reiterate that the current rice supply is sufficient to meet the daily requirements of the island and the current rice prices are expected to go down during the harvest season," said Undersecretary Virgilio Leyretana, chair of the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) said.

Around 3,546,120 bags of rice are reportedly needed to meet the rice requirements before the harvest season in August. The rice inventory is expected to reach 3.805 million bags of rice. This implies that the rice supply is sufficient to meet the needs during the lean months, which is from June to September. Rice supply, however is expected to rise during the harvest season in August.

Meanwhile, corn production hit a double-digit growth of 22.31% in the firs quarter, marking a total output of 883,409 metric tons from just 722, 269metric tons in the same period last year.

Caraga region also registered the highest growth of corn output at 56.55%.

Following Caraga in terms of corn production growth are Region XI at 51.38%,Region X at 40.18%, Region XII at 35.51%.

Region IX registered negative growth at 2.10% Notably, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) registered negative growth for the production of both crops at 9.10% for rice, and 11.09% for corn.

Leyretana said that Mindanao's resiliency in agricultural production especially palay and corn only shows the island's competitive edge in agriculture. He added that with the positive results brought about by critical interventions of the Arroyo government, hopes are high for the agriculture sector in Mindanao, making it a major player in the country's economic recovery.

"With the kind of momentum shown by Mindanao's palay and corn production, we are looking at surpassing this year's targets," Leyretana said. (MEDCo) [top]

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