DESPITE good performances of Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental and Camiguin provinces in Northern Mindanao for the first quarter this year, Lanao del Norte posted a little bit short in nut production, an economic official said.

National Economic and Development Authority (Neda)-Northern Mindanao assistant regional director Cecilio Y. Clarete said nut production in Lanao del Norte lowered by 4.17 percent or only 5.829 million compared to last year's 139.867 million.

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This, Clarete said, was due to the 3,209 coconut trees that were cut in the province.

"The total number of coconut trees cut legally increased by 137 percent to 7,895 senile and or economically unproductive trees as a result of the 41 percent increment on the number of permits issued in the first quarter of 2010," Clarete said.

Bukidnon posted the highest increase in nut production, which registered 26.20 percent or a total of 14.266 million for the first quarter this year with only 8,558.36 hectares land planted. Misamis Oriental ranked next with 124.390 million against last year's 121.951 million with 101,698 hectares land planted.

Camiguin has the weakest increase of production for this year's first quarter, which posted only 0.46 percent compared to last year's 25.138 million harvested coconut fruit.

Misamis Occidental posted an increase of 0.68 against first quarter of 2009 record of 118.902 million.

However, Neda noted at least 0.12 percent overall increase of nut production in the whole region.

Based on a data from Neda, copra production relatively increased by more than one percent over last year's performance.

Consistent with the nut production, Bukidnon marked the highest gain by almost 30 percent.

On green nut production, percentage drastically changed between the provinces over last year's yield. Huge drops in green nut production were noted in Lanao del Norte and Camiguin, which declined by 76 percent and 45 percent, respectively.

"These pulled down the regional performance to a negative six percent," Clarete said.

However, despite the relatively poor performance in nut production, export of various coconut commodities tremendously grew by 363 percent to 146,329 metric tons of total exports in the first quarter this year, which sales correspondingly surged higher by 229 percent from last year's export value, grossing at US$101.543 million.