DUE to drought brought about by the El Niño phenomenon, corn production in Northern Mindanao declined to eight percent for the first quarter this year as compared to that of the same period last year, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in Northern Mindanao.

Engr. Cecilio Y. Clarete, Neda assistant regional director, said the reduction of corn produce could be attributed to the negative performance of Bukidnon, which recorded negative output both for production volume and yield per hectare, as some areas in the southern municipalities were planted with cassava and pineapple while the towns of Talakag and Baungon were into banana growing.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Based on a data from Neda, the drought also contributed negative yield in some areas in the northern part of the province.

Clarete said corn production for this year only reached 273,465 metric tons (MT) or 8.08 percent lower than last year’s 297,501 MT for both white and yellow kinds.

Statistics showed Bukidnon registered only 186,785 MT of corn production for the first quarter of this year, which is 11 percent lower than the 107,828 MT recorded in the same period in 2009.

Misamis Oriental province also posted negative output with only 18,073 MT for the first quarter against last year’s 19,361 MT.

Other provinces such as Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental registered less than one-digit percentage output for the first quarter of this year or roughly 13,000 MT.

However, the Neda data also showed that Camiguin contributed an increase of 34 percent corn production harvest or 51 MT compared with last year’s 38 MT.

But even with the negative performance, Clarete noted higher sufficiency level of corn for this year after surplus of last year’s harvest posted 726 percent.