DA sees bigger rice harvest this yearBy Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Filipino farmers will harvest an additional 750,000 metric tons of rice under the Department of Agriculture’s early planting program involving 150,000 hectares of crop lands which were planted to rice during the summer season, the DA has said.
This is the first time that the DA implemented a comprehensive early planting program where farmers in key rice producing regions advanced their cropping calendar to April or May instead of June to avoid the devastating storms that usually hit the country between September and October.
Dante Delima, director of the National Rice Program, said “the objective of this is to reduce the impact of typhoons.”
The harvests from these advance crops and from new irrigated areas could further boost rice production in the first half of the year by five percent compared to the 7.5 million MT recorded in the same period last year, Delima said.
So far, about 150,000 hectares of rice lands, mostly in Central Luzon, were planted to rice in April. The crops from these areas will be harvested in late August or September, the DA said.
Traditionally, the country produces 60 percent of its annual palay production during the wet season cropping and 40 percent during the dry season cropping.
The DA, which targets to harvest 18.4 million MT in 2012, wants farmers to ensure that their rice harvests during the wet season are safe from typhoons in the second part of the year.
The typhoons in the second semester of 2011 damaged the large crop lands of Luzon, the country’s major rice producer and destroyed about 1.1 million MT of rice, paring the agriculture sector’s growth last year.
Originally posted: 9:43 pm | Monday, June 25th, 2012