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TURNOVER CEREMONY. Outgoing regional director Ma. Gloria A. Tango (2nd from right) and assistant regional director Joel M. Gonzales (rightmost) of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 12 handed the ISO certification to incoming regional director Chona M. Mantilla and assistant regional director Yahya “Yang” A. Centi on January 30, 2012 during the turnover of command of DOLE 12. Mantilla assumes as regional director on February 1. (DED/RTLacibal/PIA12)

PIA Press Release
Friday, January 13, 2012

S. Cotabato exceeds palay production by 104.9 MT

by Dani Doguiles

KORONADAL CITY, Jan 13 (PIA) -- Surplus palay production in South Cotabato last year reached 104,926 metric tons, according to data from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist here.

From January to December, data showed that the province accrued total production of 222,502 MT of palay; estimated local demand was only 117,576 MT or 9,798 MT per month.

Even in June and July -- considered as lean months in rice production parlance -- the province recorded excess harvest, provincial agriculturist Reynaldo Legaste said.

In these months the province had spare harvests of 3.452 MT and 2,069 MT, respectively.

"If we go back to our records in the last ten years, this is the first year that we had not experienced a single deficit in our monthly production," Legaste said.

Year 2011 became very productive for farmers in South Cotabato, he said, because of favorable weather, continuous support programs made available to farmers by the Department of Agriculture and interventions from local government units.

These factors have allowed farmers to plant an extra third cropping of rice.

Legaste also reported that the province is assured of at least 23,000 hectares of rice that can be harvested from January to March this year because of continuous planting in the last quarter of 2011.

If weather remains favorable, surplus production could be realized in the first quarter, which Legaste said could defray deficits expected in the second semester of 2012 with the scheduled total shutdown of two dams of the Ala River Irrigation System due for repair and rehabilitation starting May.

Closure of Ala RIS is expected to affect about 9,000 hectares if rice paddies in South Cotabato, particularly in the Upper Valley towns of Surallah, Banga, Sto. Nino, and Norala. (PIA-12)

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