Philippine Corn production seen at 7.4 MMT in 2011, up .6 MMT
Corn farmers belonging to the Philippine Maize Federation (Philmaize) are confident that corn production will hit 7.4 million metric tons (MMT) in 2011 from the estimated output of 6.8 MMT for the whole of 2010.
Roger Navarro, president of Philmaize, said the expected increase in output is due to good weather coupled with the expected increase in areas planted to corn in Cagayan Valley.
“I am very positive that because of good weather conditions, good prices and the expansion of areas planted to corn, production in 2011 would surpass the expected production for 2010,” said Navarro in a telephone interview.
The Philmaize official said the good price of yellow corn in the local market, currently pegged at a range of P15 to P16 per kilogram, is encouraging farmers to go into corn planting.
“Even the international price of corn is good. It is currently at a range of P14.60 to P15.60 per kilo,” said Navarro.
Corn farmers, he said, are benefiting from the moderate La Niña episode, which is bringing rains to farmlands in most major corn-growing areas in the country.
“Moderate-strength La Niña conditions remained in the tropical pacific during the month of November. Oceanic and atmospheric indices were still consistent with the characteristics of the cold Enso (El Niño Southern Oscillation) phase. Most climate models predict that this event will continue at least into the March-April-May 2011 season,” said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) in its Dec. 6 advisory.
Navarro disclosed that in February, after rice has been harvested in areas near Magat Dam in Cagayan Valley, farmers would plant corn as a “quick turnaround” crop.
“There will be an additional 60,000 hectares planted to corn. Assuming that the production would reach 5 metric tons [MT] per hectare, madadagdagan ng 300,000 MT of corn ang output for 2011,” he said.
For 2010, however, Philmaize said it expects output to settle at its earlier projection of 6.8 MMT.
The corn sector has been badly hit by the El Niño weather phenome-non, which ravaged farms in the first half of 2010.
The dry spell caused farmers to delay their planting and consequently delayed the harvest of the crops.
Aside from the dry spell, the sector was also hit by typhoons, notably Typhoon Juan, which damaged P367.96 million worth of corn grains this year.
By Business Mirror
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