The Department of Agriculture said Friday rice harvest may still hit a record production of 20.17 million metric tons in crop year 2020, despite the damage caused by recent typhoons.
“With a 2-percent loss in palay harvest, we could still realize a record output of about 20 million metric tons, which is seven percent more than our 2019 yield of 18.81 MMT,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
Third-quarter palay production is expected to reach 3.54 million MT, up by 16 percent from the same period last year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The DA said based on harvest figures in the first three quarters, the rice sector might achieve the four-quarter production target, increasing the staple adequacy level to 91.5 percent based on rice per capita consumption of 118.6 kilograms. Last year’s rice adequacy level settled at 87 percent.
The DA said the early harvest done by farmers before the typhoons hit palay-producing regions was a crucial move to securing future inventory.
It said farmers were able save at least 1.6 million MT of palay or 7 percent of the DA’s total target production volume of 20.34 million MT before the onset of the strong typhoons that hit Luzon and the Visayas.
Combined palay production loss from the typhoons reached roughly 165,000 metric tons, representing just 2 percent of the projected fourth-quarter harvest of 8.4 million MT, it said.
“We hope and pray that in the remaining eight weeks of the year, we will be spared from strong typhoons, and thus our full-year production estimate would be realized,” Dar said.
The early harvest advisory enabled farmers to save as much as P26.2 billion worth of palay, corn, and high-value crops from Typhoons Quinta and Rolly.
The DA said it was expecting to achieve a comfortable level of rice inventory, good for 90 days, in the fourth quarter.