File photo courtesy of RAFIS

MIMAROPA Region obtained an average yield of 4.01MT/hectare for 2018 that increased by 4.6% from 2017 despite the damages brought by three tropical depressions (TD), according to Department of Agriculture-MIMAROPA (DA-MIMAROPA) Rice Program.

The significant growth was due to its high production, which was 1.231 million MT, based on the PSA data. The production boosted by 6.13% or 71, 158 MT from 2017.

The said growth was attributed to the expansion of areas and utilization of high-quality seeds.

According to the PSA data, an estimated 306,790 hectares were harvested last year that increased by 4,000 hectares since 2017. This is because of the newly constructed irrigation facilities and provision of shallow-tube well pumps (STWs).

STWs greatly help the farmers overcome water scarcity during the dry season.

It was also seen that there was an increase in the utilization of high-quality seeds (HQS). According to LGU Terminal Harvesting data, 72% of the areas harvested last year used high-quality seeds, a 2% increase from 2017. The two percent increase means that there were 13, 334 has. converted from good seed to HQS

HQS are composed of hybrid and inbred varieties.

The Regional Rice Program said the possible reason for the increase of high-quality seed utilization was due to the Rice Program Model Farms that showcased the benefits of the said seed varieties.

Plus, the intensive promotion of Sec. Emmanuel Piñol to use such kind of seeds that are pests and weather resilient also helped to convince the farmers.

In July last year, three continuous weather disturbances named TD Inday, Henry, and Josie damaged the two major rice-producing provinces of the region which are Occidental and Oriental Mindoro.

The three calamities caused a total of 496.7 MT loss of harvest.

However, due to the immediate assistance given by the DA through the distribution of 12,600 bags of high-quality seeds to the affected farmers, the production was able to bounce back its harvest from 125,333.00MT in the 3rd quarter to 615,425.37MT in the 4th quarter, contributing to the growth of the production output.

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