CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, March 17 (PIA) --- The production of palay and coconut in Northern Mindanao posted declines in 2016, according to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in the region.

Engr. Cecilio Clarete, chief economic development specialist of NEDA-X, said during the latest regional economic situationer media forum that palay production in 2016 was recorded at 711,284 metric tons in 2016, down by 1.91 percent compared to the 725,120 metric tons produced in 2015.

The second quarter was the worst period for palay production. Though it recovered in the third quarter, it went down again in the fourth quarter, Clarete noted.

He said the decline is attributed to the changes in the planting calendar, delayed onset of rain, and delayed release of irrigation water.

Even with the decrease in the volume, Clarete said  total value of production increased by 1.12 percent reaching P14.25 billion due to the three percent increase in the farm gate price. 

Clarete also noted the decrease in rice inventory in 2016 ,particularly the huge dive in the rice holdings of the National Food Authority (NFA) due to higher prices offered by commercial traders. 

However, the region did not experience shortage in rice supply during the period.

Coconut production also reduced by 2.66 percent during the year due to the drought.

With the decrease in harvest, the production of copra went down by 6.19 percent while green nuts  declined by 6.4 percent.

Clarete said it will require more than a year for coconut production to improve.

The value of coconut export commodities, on the other hand, rose to US$584,814,646 or by almost 13 percent from its level in 2015.

Clarete said it is possible for the exports to go up despite the decline in the harvest since some of the processed copra in the region are sourced from other areas. (APB/PIA-10)