THE Department Agriculture (DA) is targeting to increase palay (unhusked rice) production to 3.9 million metric tons (MT) in 2018.
This is an increase from the 3.63-million-metric-ton harvest in 2017 and 3.3-million-metric-ton yield in 2016.
Roy Abaya, regional executive director for Central Luzon, said they were hoping for fair weather for the rest of the year and expecting to implement programs to assist the farmers.
Abaya told Sun.Star Pampanga that the region has placed some 112,000 hectares for hybrid production with 50 percent of the hybrid planting areas in Nueva Ecija.
Abaya said the region recorded some 40 percent of the cropping season had already been harvested with an average yield of 5.2 metric tons per hectare which translates to 200,00 metric tons.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recently disclosed that Central Luzon contributed at least 19 percent to the country’s total rice production in 2017, proving itself as the “Rice Granary of the Philippines.”
For the year 2017, a total of 19.28 million MT of palay were produced compared to 17.63 million MT in 2016, or a 9.63-percent increase.
PSA attributed the increase to sufficient irrigation, favorable weather conditions, and higher yielding seed varieties.