By BOBBY Q LABALAN
SORSOGON CITY: The Bicol region placed 6th among the rice-producing regions in the country accounting for 6.74%of the entire rice production for 2013 equivalent to 1,243,241 metric tons (MT), records released by the Department of Agriculture (DA) show.
Central Luzon, the country’s so-called rice granary, remained the top rice producing region with 3,409,468 metric tons accounting for 18.49% of the entire rice yield last year followed by Cagayan Valley with 2,423,187 metric tons (13.14%), Central Visayas-2,090,790mt (11.34%) and Ilocos Region with 1,750,057mt (9.49%), according to the DA data.
Among provinces, the top ten producers were Nueva Ecija with 1,672,666mt followed by Isabela with 1,249,873mt and Pangasinan with 1,065,036mt; Iloilo-822,452mt; Cagayan-829,737mt; Camarines Sur-601,479mt; Tarlac-585,077mt; North Cotabato-525,675mt; Leyte-502,746mt and Negros Occidental- 477,969mt.
Meanwhile, two provinces in the Bicol region registered a negative growth in rice production last year despite the interventions introduced by the government. Catanduanes had -5.36% growth, from 10,924mt in 2012 down to 10,339mt in 2013, while Sorsogon registered -3.30% from 36,217mt to 35,021mt last year.
Masbate registered the highest production growth at 10.80% from 51,807mt to 57,401 followed by CamNorte from 23,521mt to 25,369 MT up 7.86%; Camarines Sur from 156,312mt to 159,105mt for a 1.79% increase, and Albay with 55,494mt in 2012 up 0.85% to 55,964mt.
Based on these productions DA Regional Director Abelardo Bragas said only two Bicol provinces are rice-sufficient—Cam Sur which is 166.34% rice sufficient and Masbate which is 105.42% rice sufficient.
Albay is only 93.36% sufficient; CamNorte 92.73%; Sorsogon 88.84% and Catanduanes - 62.07%
As a whole, Bicol region is 118.19% rice-sufficient. - BicolMail