MANILA — The total harvest area for palay nationwide may widen by nearly 32,000 hectares in the first half of the year from the year-ago level, possibly lifting national rice production by 1.2 percent, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has projected.
The PSA sees the country's total palay harvest area reaching 2.13 million hectares for January to June this year, 31,960 hectares or 1.53 percent higher than last year's 2.1 million hectares.
Harvest area is the actual area, where a crop like palay was or will be harvested during a reference period, the PSA explained.
The statistics agency forecasts the country's palay harvest to hit 8.67 million metric tons (MT) in the first half of the year, surpassing the first-semester harvest last year of 8.57 million MT.
Production refers to the quantity of a crop produced and actually harvested during a reference period, the PSA said.
The PSA projects the January-June harvest areas to be bigger this year in most of the country's regions compared with the same period last year.
The regions projected to have bigger palay harvest areas in the first semester of 2018 are Central Luzon (326,889 hectares), Calabarzon (59,623 hectares), Mimaropa (125,797 hectares), Bicol (178,418 hectares), Western Visayas (241,873 hectares), Central Visayas (48,490 hectares), Zamboanga Peninsula (73,541 hectares), Davao (51,101 hectares), Soccsksargen (146,121 hectares), Caraga (91,796 hectares), and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (93,469 hectares).
In January to June 2017, harvest areas in these areas were smaller, measured at 322,734 hectares in Central Luzon; 56,589 hectares in Calabarzon; 118,806 hectares in Mimaropa; 177,949 hectares in Bicol; 232,039 hectares in Western Visayas; 48,357 hectares in Central Visayas; 70,338 hectares in Zamboanga Peninsula; 48,549 hectares in Davao; 145,047 hectares in Soccsksargen; 87,335 hectares in Caraga; and 91,932 hectares in ARMM.
The regions with expectedly less harvest area in the first half of this year are Cordillera (45,441 hectares); Ilocos (101,121 hectares), Cagayan Valley (312,683 hectares), Eastern Visayas (158,154 hectares), and Northern Mindanao (72,985 hectares).
Harvest areas in these regions were bigger last year at 45,900 hectares in Cordillera; 103,230 hectares in Ilocos; 314,375 hectares in Cagayan Valley; 158,592 hectares in Eastern Visayas; and 73,770 hectares in Northern Mindanao. (PNA)
By Catherine Teves