REGION II – Cagayan Valley
Rice, Corn, Vegestables, Fruits, Legumes and Sugarcane
The Cagayan Valley region still remains the country’s prime cereal producer with an average growth rate of ten percent a year and an annual production of 1.3 metric tons that could even surpass the corn production of Northern Mindanao.
An agriculture-based region, Cagayan Valley represents nine percent of the country’s total land area with 26,837 square kilometers and with an annual growth rate of 1.85 percent from 1995 to 2000.
The region, under the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle program, was assigned as a “major agricultural bowl” given the abundance of agriculture lands suitable for growing traditional and high value crops.
“The region is on the right track as far as cereal production is concerned. The performance could have been better if not for the annual flooding of our farms,” said Milagros Rimando, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) regional director.
The National Food Authority (NFA) also assured that there are enough stocks of rice in the region, which make it as the “most food secure region” in the country today.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) said that the annual palay production in Cagayan Valley, second only to Central Luzon, has increased by an average of 3.2 percent from the average production of two million metric tons.
In 2008 alone, Cagayan Valley produced a record 3.8 metric tons of rice, some nine percent higher than the national average yield of 3.48 metric tons per hectare of production, DA reported.
It should be noted that while these figures were comparatively higher than the country’s average yield, it is far from the seven metric tons per hectare of palay and 12 metric tons of corn harvested by other Asian countries, the DA said.
“With the aging of the region’s irrigation systems and the rising cost of construction materials, upkeep of these systems would be costlier.”
“The construction of new irrigation systems to attain wider irrigation coverage would not be enough if the region cannot continuously repair and rehabilitate its old irrigation systems, affecting the region’s palay productivity,” Rimando warned.
This is the challenge faced by the government and other key players of the grains industry in the region.
“The modernization of agriculture is essential to reduce poverty in the region,” NEDA said.
DA, through the National Irrigation Administration has increased the region’s irrigation coverage from 40 percent in 2006 to 53 percent in 2008.
The Regional Development Council of Cagayan Valley listed rice production in its investment promotions plan along with livestock, poultry and fisheries.