THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has reported an increase in Northern Mindanao palay production by 15.6 percent in the third quarter of 2016.

Palay production in the region was noted at 215,201 metric tons in 2016 from 186,082 metric tons in 2015.

The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in Northern Mindanao, in its regional economic situationer report, noted that production in the provinces of Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, and Misamis Oriental posted increases by 21.9 percent, 119.9 percent, and 7.8 percent, respectively.

Bukidnon's increasing yield in both rain-fed areas is attributed to the farmer's use of hybrid and certified seeds and the fertilizer subsidy coming from the DA and local government units.

Small palay farmers also benefited from the Sikat Saka program, a direct credit window from Land Bank of the Philippines with support from DA.

For Misamis Occidental, the rotation of irrigation water supply in Plaridel caused the decline in the province's production output, while the reduced yield is because of the insufficient rainfall.

The Neda added the average yield reached to 4.9 metric tons per hectare, up by 4.1 percent from the previous year's level.

The increase in palay production and the increase of the average farm gate price to P19.51 per kilo, pushed the value of palay to P4.199 billion, which is 20 percent higher compared to the previous year's level.

Rice sufficiency level during the third quarter of this year reached to 93.3 percent, which is 11.10 percent points higher than that of the same period last year. The whole the region's rice inventory went up by 7.3 percent, reaching about 2,019,101 bags.

Stocks are estimated to last for 74 days based on the region's daily rice consumption requirement of around 27,340 bags.

The region's total corn production during this quarter, meanwhile, reached 498,991 metric tons, an increase by 7.5 percent, as Bukidnon, the largest corn producer in the region, posted a 173.8 percent increase particularly in white corn production.

The increase in white corn production is attributed to the 101 percent increase in harvested areas and still, because of the use of hybrid and modern open pollinated variety corn seeds subsidized by the government, Neda noted.

Production in Lanao province also improved in the same period due to sufficient rainfall and the use of high-yielding varieties.

The region's average yield improved by 4.2 percent from only 3.40 metric tons/hectare in 2015 to 3.55 metric tons/hectare in 2016.

The Neda added amid the decrease of the average farm gate of the white corn, the 43 percent increase in production pushed the production value of white corn to P2.634 billion, an increase by 33.5 percent.

For yellow corn, its value of production declined to 12.2 percent, reaching only to P3.177 billion because of the 2.9 percent decrease in the farm gate price and the 9.6 reduction in production.

The region's net corn sufficiency level during the quarter is estimated at 127 percent with a surplus of 105,295 kilograms.

During the economic situationer report, Neda-Northern Mindano also marked the launching of the agency's Regional Socio-Economic Analysis and Research Center (Re-Search X).

Neda-Northern Mindanao Assistant Regional Director Mae Ester Guiamadel said the new program will provide a computerized-based system and statistical information in the region, that would be useful for researchers and students.

"This database is what we had long for in the region, with this database the data that the public needs will now be accessed easily," she said.

The database can only be accessed at the Neda office and possesses four sectors, namely: macro, social, economic and infrastructure.

The information, updated annually and quarterly, is using official data from the Philippine Statistics Authority and other government agencies.