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This year’s ‘palay’ yield is expected to be at an all-time high, according to DA.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is sure that it will set another record in palay (unhusked rice) output this year, incorporating lessons learned from last year’s performance and barring adverse weather conditions for the remaining weeks.

According to the DA, the measures sustained fund assistance from rice tariffs, and ideal weather is all significant elements ensuring high yields for the rest of 2021.

“It’s very likely that we’ll hit the 20-million metric ton mark this year,” Secretary William Dar said in a news release on Monday, praising farmers’ efforts and the continued assistance of local governments and the corporate sector.

“Because we were able to distribute needed inbred seeds and other inputs on time, our farmers were encouraged to plant early under President Duterte’s Philippine Integrated Rice Program (PIRP) and Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), allowing them to harvest before the end of September and avoid the typhoons in October,” Dar added.

According to an initial estimate from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), palay production for the third quarter (Q3) of this year will be 3,752,730 metric tons (MT), up 6.7 percent from the previous year’s Q3 harvest of 3,516,346 MT.

According to PSA projections, the total palay output for January to September 2021 is 12.55 million MT, up 5.5 percent from the previous nine-month harvest in 2020 (11.90 million MT) and 10.9 percent higher than in 2019 (11.32 million MT).

“We are certain that we will beat last year’s record output of 19.4 million MT with this year’s level of production for the first nine months plus the expected fourth quarter harvest,” Dar stated, citing DA-PIRP Director Dionisio Alvindia’s report.

According to Alvindia’s assessment, Q4 production in 2020 (7.39 million MT) and 2019 (7.49 million MT) should generate an estimate of “harvesting at least 7.4 million MT, increasing total 2021 palay output to 19.95 million MT.”

Aside from the RCEF, the PIRP also contains the normal rice program and the Rice Resiliency Project, which cover areas that are not covered by the RCEF.

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