DA Press Release
27 January 2022

Phl attains all-time palay, corn harvests in 2021

Bigger budget, focused plans and interventions, and hardworking farmers and industry partners translate to record-breaking sectoral performance.

That, in a nutshell, is the formula of success, as the country’s national palay (paddy rice) and corn production hit record levels, at 19.96 million metric tons (MMT) and 8.3 MMT, respectively, said agriculture secretary William Dar.

“These palay and corn production levels are the highest in the country’s history under the Duterte administration. Thanks to our continued strong partnership with organized farmers’ groups, local government units (LGUs), the private sector, other institutions, and rice and corn industry stakeholders,” secretary Dar said.

The palay output was 3.4 percent (%) more than the 19.29 MMT in 2020, while corn yield was 2.2% more than two years ago. These feats were attained despite the Covid-19 pandemic, community lockdowns and logistical bottlenecks, and adverse weather conditions, the DA chief added.

The record harvests were a result of more resources poured into both rice and corn programs, palay procurement, and irrigation services. These included: P15B for the national rice program (NRP) and rice resiliency project (RRP); P10B for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF); and P7B for the National Food Authority (NFA); and P30B for the National Irrigation Administration (NIA). As for corn program, the DA spent P1.5B last year.

“With better technology, modern high-yielding seeds, farm machinery and equipment, training, credit and marketing, the country’s rice and corn farmers were able to deliver record-breaking performance,” said Dr. Dionisio Alvindia, director of the DA’s Philippine Integrated Rice Program (PIRP), that oversees the implementation of the NRP, RRP and RCEF.

Under the RCEF program, which is on its third year of implementation, below are the notable achievements, said Alvindia, based on survey of farmer-participants and monitoring conducted by the DA’s Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice):
• For dry season (DS) 2019 and 2021, palay seeding rate decreased by one-third or 33%, from 96 kilograms (kg) per hectare (ha) to 64 kg/ha;
• Average yield increased by 15% or 560 kg/ha, from 3.65 metric tons (mt) per hectare (ha) in DS 2019 to 4.22 mt/ha in DS 2021;
• Due to the reduced cost of seeds and increased productivity, of production (COP) decreased, farmers earned additional gross income of P10,000/ha, at P19/kg dry palay buying price.

For farmers who plant hybrid rice, they attain bigger average yields and income per hectare, said DA hybrid program director Dr. Frisco Malabanan.
For instance, he said hybrid rice farmers in Nueva Ecija obtained the highest average yield at 7.6 mt/ha in DS 2021 and 5.75 mt/ha in WS 2021.

In addition to Nueva Ecija, Malabanan said hybrid rice farming is now popular and focused in 14 other provinces: Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Isabela, Tarlac, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, Leyte, Bukidnon, Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

Since 2019, the total area planted to hybrid rice has reached 1.1 million hectares, contributing roughly 26% to total palay production.

DA-PhilRice data show that current average cost of production (COP) of palay is at P12/kg, and that the COP of hybrid rice ranges only from P7to P8/kg, said Malabanan.

For the ongoing DS 2021-2022, the DA in partnership with private seed companies will conduct the 14th National Rice Technology Forum Cluster Demo Farm, in Bula, Camarines Sur. It will highlight the use of drone for direct seeding, foliar fertilizer application and pest /disease control to reduce labor cost, Alvindia said. The event will culminate last week of March to April this year.

Under the RCEF seed component, for DS 2022 DA-PhilRice has delivered 1.5 million 20-kg bags, of which 825,126 bags were distributed to 318,348 farmers in 717 municipalities/cities in 42 covered provinces, with an estimated planted area of 381,545 hectares.

Under farm mechanization, the DA-PhilMech has delivered a total of 15,657 units of machinery and equipment, composed of 4-wheel tractors (2,859); hand tractors (4,165); floating tillers (1,856); precision seeders (146); transplanters (1,816); reapers (1,549); combine harvesters (1,939); threshers (1,112); mobile rice mills (181); multi-pass rice mills (11); mobile dryers (6); and recirculating dryers (17).

Under RCEF credit component, the LANDBANK has released P1.43 B, mainly fo palay production (P663M); working capital-rice trading/milling (P371.6M); working capital – relending (P297M); and purchase of farm machinery (P98.7M). These were lent to 138 cooperatives with 18,301 farmer-beneficiaries, and 8,549 individual farmers.

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Meanwhile, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has lent a total of P1.296 B to 21,916 farmer beneficiaries, broken down as: P760M – working capital;
P509 M for relending/rediscounting; and
P19.8 M – acquisition of farm equipment/machinery.

As for training and extension, the DA-ATI, TESDA, PhilMech, and PhilRice have conducted a total of 5,017 various trainings with 109,686 participants. They also distributed 129,290 Qualification Maps (QMs) under the TESDA scholarship programs, and developed 407 IEC titles for three years, with 4.6 million and 3.9 million copies produced and distributed, respectively.

Rice Farmers Financial Assistance

Aside from these regular components under the RCEF program, the law also provides that any excess rice tariff collections may be appropriated to other components of the program, like financial assistance, crop diversification, crop insurance, and land titling.

For FY 2021, excess tariff collections from FY 2019 and 2020 was appropriated to the Rice Farmers Financial Assistance (RCEF-RFFA) Program, which provided unconditional and direct cash assistance to rice farmers owning/tilling rice areas of 2 hectare and less. The cash assistance is provided through an Interventions Monitoring Card (IMC), a QR-code-bearing transactional card, which also serves as an identification card for the farmer-beneficiaries.

As of December 31, 2021, 908,544 farmers have received their “e-wallets”, of which 589,215 were loaded with the P5,000-cash assistance.

Aside from the regular budget allotted for fertilizers, the “National Rice Program – Fertilizer Discount Vouchers to Rice Farmers” project also provided fertilizer discount vouchers to farmers which can be claimed at DA accredited merchants.

The beneficiaries are farmers who received high-quality seeds in targeted l areas to allow them to adopt the full high-yielding technology practices. The farmers were located in nine regions (CAR, I, II, III, IVB, V, VI, VII, and VIII).

To date, a total of 780,232 vouchers were claimed, amounting to P2.6B covering an area of 1.1M hectares. Meanwhile, the other DA-RFOs have procured fertilizers under the regular NRP, totalling 637,736 bags covering 236,295 hectares.

Finally, the DA through its National Corn Program (NCP) will continue efforts to increase production of quality corn for human consumption, feed, and industrial uses, as well as empower farmers and other stakeholders to be more cost-efficient, profitable, sustainable, and resilient.

The DA continues to organize more corn farm clusters, providing them with appropriate farm production, postharvest and processing machinery and equipment, and facilitating marketing agreements with processors and end-users, said corn program director Milo delos Reyes.

To date, the DA has helped organized 188 corn clusters nationwide, which attained an average yield of 5 mt/ha for yellow corn clusters, and 2.5 mt/ha for white corn clusters, delos Reyes said.

The DA-NCP also facilitated several marketing agreements, notably: between Mantibugao Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmers’ Cooperative (MARBC) in Bukidnon with Pilmico Foods Corporation, wherein MARBC will provide the weekly 500-mt requirement of Pilmico; and the partnership between Villa Luna Multi-Purpose Cooperative (VLMPC), in Isabela, with San Miguel Foods Inc.(SMFI) wherein VLMPC will provide SMFI 5,000 mt of yellow corn.

This year, the DA-NCP–in partnership with the corn farm clusters, LGUs and the private sector–aims to produce 10.22 MMT of corn, of which, 7.36 MMT is yellow and 2.84 is white; with an average yield of at least 5 mt/ha for yellow and 2.5 mt/ha for white. ###

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