NORTHERN Mindanao's palay production for the third quarter this year has dropped by 6.74 percent to 200,698 metric tons as compared to 215,201 metric tons for the same quarter last year.

According to the National Economic Development Authority's (Neda) regional economic situationer for the third quarter of 2017, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte led the decline in palay production at 12.38 percent (25,673 metric tons), 9.04 percent (131,897 metric tons) and 0.02 percent (36,075 metric tons) respectively.

Neda-Northern Mindanao said the decrease in production is due to the inadequate supply in irrigation water as some of the irrigation facilities in the region were under repair and reconstruction.

Although, Neda said, the irrigation development as of the third quarter of 2017 was at 59.85 percent of the total potential irrigable area of 121,432 hectares, a 1.22 percent more 874 hectares added to last year’s service area of 71,805 hectares.

A total of 48,753 hectares still remain for irrigation development.

Most of the irrigated areas, according to Neda, are in Bukidnon which comprises the 55 percent of the region’s service area, adding that as the food basket of the region, Bukidnon’s irrigation development will be fast-tracked.

The drop in palay production coupled with the 2.2 percent decrease in the average farm gate price, Neda said, has brought down the value of production in the third quarter from P4.2 billion in 2016 to P3.8 billion.

The agency also observed the dwindling rice sufficiency level in the region at 87.57 percent, down from 95.54 percent in the same period of last year.

The rice inventory as of October 1 this year also dropped to 1,524,841 bags, 24.5 percent lesser than last year's inventory.

Neda said based on the region's daily rice consumption requirement of around 28,420 bags, the recorded bags is estimated to last for 54 days.

Neda, however, noted that the region's average yield per hectare has increased by 0.63 percent to 4.89 metric tons per hectare.

Except for Camiguin, the rest of the provinces in Northern Mindanao posted average yield increases, with Bukidnon and Misamis Occidental registered to have highest yields at 5.9 metric tons per hectare and 4.52 metric tons per hectare, respectively according to Neda.