THE National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) in Northern Mindanao noted a slight increase of livestock and poultry production for the period January 1, 2009 to January 1, 2010.

Engr. Cecilio Y. Clarete, Neda-Northern Mindanao assistant regional director, said around 16 percent or 16.473 million was recorded by meat producers in the region for the period.

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Carabao raising for both backyard and commercial production posted an increase of 4.29 from last year's 145,913 while harvested cattle only registered 1.18 percent.

Hog produce slightly went up by 1.39 percent to 845,511; goat registered 0.33 percent while duck and chicken produced are higher at 16.59 and 16.91 percent, respectively.

"But at least, it is still an increase," Clarete said.

For the first quarter of 2010, livestock and poultry production grew by 3.6 percent compared with last year's 80,379 metric tons (MT). Of the number, swine shared the greatest bulk of total production at almost four percent while chicken ranked second, which went up by 3.5 percent from 28,287 MT in 2009.

Duck, cattle, goat and carabao production have relatively increased for the first quarter compared to last year's record by close to six percent.

Clarete also noted good performance of fish production, which record grew by a minimal 0.25 percent during the first quarter.

However, he added that commercial fishing fell short by 9.9 percent as a result of the transfer of some fishing vessels in the provinces of Misamis Occidental and Oriental.

Meanwhile, municipal fish catch did not improve during the quarter as there were lesser fishing trips conducted.

However, aquaculture posted big growth for the same period this year at 8.5 percent, harvesting a total of 15.745 MT.

Clarete said this could be attributed to the notable increases in marine fishcage/pens, freshwater catch and seaweeds which grew by 36, 23 and 20 percent, respectively.

He said the assistance extended by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the local government units in the procurement of fingerlings and commercial feeds as well as the availability of good planting materials of seaweeds in Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental have contributed to the positive outputs in fish production.

Meanwhile, major crops production for the first quarter this year went down, which decelerated by 10 percent from the 2009 level.

"This is largely due to the 16.4 percent decline in industrial crops, particularly sugarcane, which notably decreased by 16.4 percent," Clarete said.

However, he said cassava production registered a favorable performance of 25 percent during the quarter as banana and pineapple, tagged as the largest contributors to total fruit production, went up by 1.9 and 2.3 percent, respectively, while lanzones and mangosteen posted increases at 162.12 percent.