GIEWS Country Briefs: Philippines 7-August-2012

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  • The 2012 secondary season paddy and maize harvests officially estimated at a record level

  • Prices of rice continue to rise, while those of maize have remained relatively stable

  • Food insecurity persists in some areas of the country

The 2012 secondary season paddy and maize harvests officially estimated at a record level

Harvesting of the 2012 secondary season paddy crop was completed in April. The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) has estimated the 2011 secondary season paddy crop at a record level of 7.84 million tonnes, 3.2 percent above the previous year’s bumper harvest from the corresponding season. The increase reflects, an expansion of about 2.4 percent in the planted area and higher yields following favourable weather as a result of the La Nina Phenomenon. The biggest increase in production is estimated to come from Cagayan province, which benefited from adequate irrigation water supply and high-yielding varieties and Central Luzon region.

Despite severe typhoons and localized flooding in September and October 2011, the 2011/12 aggregate paddy output (main and second seasons) is officially estimated to reach 17.5 million tonnes (equivalent to 11.1 million tonnes of milled rice), 1.5 percent up from the bumper harvest a year before and 4.2 percent above the average of the previous five years. In order to reduce the risk of seasonal typhoons which occur usually in October-November, the government established an initiative to permit harvests to take place as early as possible and reduce crop damage. The programme is expected to start over 190 000 hectares in Central Luzon.

The 2012 main season paddy crop, sown from April onwards, is currently in critical growing stage, under near normal rains.

Assuming average weather conditions during the season and taking into account diverse initiatives launched by the government in order to achieve rice self-sufficiency target by 2013, as well as the anticipated increase in area planted, the aggregate rice production in 2012 is forecast to increase by 3.1 percent to 17.5 million tonnes.

Harvesting of the 2012 secondary season maize crop was completed earlier in the year, while that of the main season is currently underway and will continue into mid-September.

The 2012 secondary season maize production, which accounts for approximately 47 percent of the national annual output, is officially estimated to reach a record level of 3.44 million tonnes or 4 percent above last year’s good output of the same season. The increase mainly comes from Ilocos Region, following an expansion in planted area of yellow maize and adequate supply of subsidized high-quality seeds from the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU), as well as shifting from tomato, onion and peanut in Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.

Based on satellite imagery, near normal rainfall was received from the beginning of April to mid July in most of the regions of the country, which have had a beneficial impact on planting and crop emergence of paddy and maize crops if the main season.

However, typhoon Saola has brought heavy downpours across large parts of the country since the end of July, causing localised flooding, causalities and damage to agriculture, infrastructure and housing.