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Strong Typhoons Dampen Expectations for Philippines Rice Production

21 February 2014

PHILIPPINES - On 8 November 2013, the Philippines was struck by Typhoon Haiyan of Category 5, affecting nine Regions across the central parts of the country and causing widespread devastation, massive loss of life and severe damages to agriculture and fisheries sector.

At the time of the Typhoon harvesting of the 2013 main season paddy crop, representing 55 percent of annual production, was well advanced, while planting of the mostly irrigated 2013/14 second season crop had started, reports FAO.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the bulk of the reduction in paddy and maize production for the two seasons is forecast to come from the five affected central Regions of the country, Region VIII (Eastern Visayas), VI (Western Visayas), IV-B (Mimaropa), V (Bicol), and VII (Central Visayas).

These regions all together account for 35 percent of the total national paddy area harvested and 32 percent of production. The official estimates from NDRRMC indicate that close to 86 000 hectares of rice were affected due to Haiyan.

This follows the damage to 248 000 hectares of paddy caused by category 1 Typhoon Nari (Santi) on 12 October in the northern parts of the country.

As a result, FAO has lowered its 2013 paddy production forecast for the Philippines to take into account losses to the main season crop due to both Typhoon Nari in northern parts and recent Typhoon Haiyan, as well as anticipated reduction in the area planted to the ongoing secondary season.

The 2013 aggregate paddy production (main 2013 season and 2013/14 secondary season) is expected at 18 million tonnes, down from expectations of a bumper crop of 18.9 million tonnes at the beginning of the season.

The good harvest was expected given the higher plantings and yields in response to Government production incentives and favourable weather in the first part of the season. At the projected level, the 2013 paddy output will be slightly lower than that of 2012.

Damage to the 2013 main season maize crop has been limited as the harvest was virtually completed by mid-September. According to preliminary official estimates, a total of at least 20 951 hectares of maize crop has been affected.

Not counting the full damage, the output of the crop is officially estimated at about 4 million tonnes, some 3 percent above last year’s bumper harvest of the same season. Including the poor harvest of the previous secondary season in May, the aggregate 2013 maize output is preliminarily estimated at 7.4 million tonnes, slightly below last year’s record level.

TheCropSite News Desk

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