November 14, 2008


Philippines 2009 1Q corn output to rise 3 percent to 2.05 million tonnes



Philippines corn output in the first three months of 2009 is projected to rise 3 percent to 2.05 million tonnes as farmers are expected to plant over a higher area anticipating favourable weather conditions, the Department of Agriculture said Friday (November 14).


"Farmers are optimistic of a good harvest for the period in anticipation of favourable weather conditions and expectations of continued (government) subsidies for seeds and fertilizer," said the department's Bureau of Agriculture Statistics, citing a production survey it conducted last month.


Planting area is projected to rise 5.6 percent to 716,000 hectares even as yield per hectare will continue to decline by 2.45 percent on lower usage of chemical fertilizers, whose prices have surged following the rise in oil prices.


Full-year production of corn for 2008 is likely to miss the department's target of 7.3 million tonnes and grow 3.12 percent to 6.94 million tonnes. The growth estimate is lower than the increase of 11 percent registered in 2007, when production reached 6.73 million tonnes.


Higher cost of fertilizer has reduced projected output yields. Also slack in feeds demand from the livestock industry, which has been beset by animal diseases, discouraged aggressive planting, officials have said.


Corn is a major component in making animal feeds.


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