Friday , 19 April 2024

PSA bravely projects record Q1 harvest amid El Nino

By Rose de la Cruz

Regardless of an expected P1.23 billion losses to agriculture from El Nino, the Philippine Statistics Authority made its bravest projection that palay production for the first quarter would still hit 4.8 million metric tons, slightly higher than the 4.78 MMT for the comparative period in 2023.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council had placed the damage so farr to P1.23 billion, with regions worst hit by El Nino as: Western Visayas with P678.7 million; MIMAROPA with P319.7 million; Cagayan Valley (a major rice producer) at P180.4 million, Ilocos at P54.4 million, CALABARZON at P2.75 million and Zamboanga Peninsula at P717,527.

The cyclical weather aberration has so far affected 29,409 farmers and fisherfolk and 26,731 hectares of crops nationwide.

The PSA based its projection on historical data which showed that the forecast could be the highest volume of palay produced in the first quarter on record, the Star reported.

The updated estimate of palay production for the period January to March 2024 as of (Feb. 1) exhibited an increase of 0.6 percent from its estimate of 4.8 million metric tons as of Jan. 1,” the PSA said in its forecast report recently. 

The PSA estimated that total harvest area in the first quarter could be at 1.17 million hectares, slightly smaller than the 1.18 million hectares recorded in the same period of last year.

The contraction in harvest area would be offset by the projected increase in productivity as the PSA estimated that average yield per hectare would grow to 4.11 MT from 4.06 MT. 

As of Feb. 1, the PSA said about 318,570 hectares of the updated harvest area have been harvested, translating to a palay output of around 1.29 million MT. 

“Of the total area of 856,310 hectares of standing palay yet to be harvested as of Feb, 1, 6.7 percent were at the vegetative stage, 56.9 percent at the reproductive stage, and 36.5 percent were at the maturing stage,” the PSA said. 

The PSA estimates that total corn output in the first quarter could be around 2.67 million MT, almost six percent over last year’s 2.52 million MT.

The latest estimate, however, is lower than the PSA’s forecast in January of 2.69 million MT. 

“Harvest area based on standing crop for the period January to March 2024 may increase to 711,470 hectares or by 2.5 percent from the 694,390 hectares actual estimate of harvest area in the same period of the previous year,” the PSA said. 

Likewise, the agency projected an increase in corn yield per hectare to 3.75 MT from last year’s 3.63 MT.

The PSA explained that about 229,350 hectares of the total estimated harvest area of 711,470 hectares have been harvested already. 

It said it already recorded 723,270 MT of corn output from the latest harvested area. 

“Of the 482,130 hectares of standing corn yet to be harvested as of Feb. 1, about 2.2 percent were at the vegetative stage, 51.8 percent at the reproductive stage, and 46 percent at the maturing stage,” the PSA said.

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