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In 2021, Bicol expects stronger palay and grain production.

Despite severe border controls and logistical challenges caused by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the Department of Agriculture in Bicol (DA-5) reported growth in palay and corn production in 2021 on Friday.

“According to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, palay production in the Bicol region increased to 1.3 million metric tons (MMT), up from 1.2 MMT in 2020, while corn production increased to 292,748.28 metric tons, up from 282,000.57 metric tons in 2020,” the agency said in a social media post.

“The palay output in 2021 is the second largest in Bicol since 2011,” said DA Bicol Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla, noting that the region’s peak production was 1.35 MMT in 2018.

Camarines Norte produced 116,292.63 MT of palay, whereas Camarines Sur produced 683,203 MT, Sorsogon 150,793.40 MT, Albay 224,533 MT, Masbate 148,754 MT, and Catanduanes 23,376 MT.

Tornilla attributed the rice and corn sector’s success to Bicolano farmers and industry actors’ hard effort, as well as the prompt implementation of assistance, particularly in clustered regions.

In rice, Bicol has 20 cluster areas, while corn has 60 cluster areas.

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