THE palay production in Negros Occidental has grew by 25.17 percent in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas reported.
The province also registered the highest average yield among the six provinces in the region, at 4.11 metric tons (MT) per hectare.
DA-Western Visayas also noted an increase in the palay production of other provinces in the region amid the restrictions brought by the pandemic.
Citing the data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the regional line agency reported that Aklan, Antique and Guimaras posted more than 100 percent growth.
Aklan obtained 30,312.3 MT palay production, which is 259.63 percent higher than last year's production of only 8,428.74 MT.
Capiz reached 112.58 percent growth, from 45,914 MT to 97,602 MT while Guimaras attained the biggest leap from 5,275 MT to 25,366MT gaining a 380.87 percent increment.
Iloilo and Antique, meanwhile, recorded a production growth of 38.51 percent and 1.40 percent, respectively.
DA-Western Visayas Regional Director Remelyn Recoter said the significant increase in the palay production performance can be attributed to the expansion of the production area.
Also, to the free inputs provided to the farmers under the Rice Resiliency Project (RRP) 1, Recoter said.
As part of the DA's Plant, Plant Plant Program, the RRP targets to increase the local palay production as a way to ensure rice sufficiency amid the threats of global hunger due to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
The RRP 1 which ended its distribution for the wet cropping season on September 15 had provided at the least 14,915 bags of certified seeds, 51,797 bags of hybrid seeds, and 447,602 bags of fertilizer to farmers in Western Visayas listed under the Registry System for the Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
The project had contributed to 35.42 percent growth in the region's palay production in the third quarter performance.
"The use of high yielding seed varieties and sufficient fertilizer application enabled 2.8 percent growth in the average yield production of farmers from 3.58 MT per hectare average yield in 2019 to 3.68 MT per hectare yield," she added.
Moreover, from the 76,931 hectares area harvested, Iloilo has the highest volume of palay produced nationwide with 270,410.49 MT in the third quarter.
"The province of Iloilo has accumulated 622, 827 MT of palay produced as of the third quarter. There is a big possibility that the production will exceed one million MT this year," the DA official also said.