PRODUCTION of four major non-food and industrial crops, namely coffee, rubber, sugarcane, and cacao, rose in the first quarter of 2020, while the output of abaca fiber, coconut, and tobacco declined, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

In its major non-food and industrial crops quarterly bulletin, the PSA said that abaca fiber production fell 5.7% year on year to 14,953 metric tons (MT) in the first quarter.

The Bicol Region was the top abaca producer, accounting for 43.2% or 6,461 MT, followed by Eastern Visayas at 15% or 2,244 MT, and the Davao Region at 12% or 1,801 MT.

Coconut production fell 5.1% year on year to 3.14 million MT.

The Davao Region led in coconut production, accounting for 15.5% or 487,292 MT, followed by Zamboanga Peninsula at 14.1% or 442,310 MT, and Northern Mindanao at 13.6% or 426,179 MT.

Tobacco production fell 0.5% year on year to 12,717 MT

The Ilocos Region was the country’s top tobacco producer, accounting for 89.2% or 11,349 MT, followed by the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) at 8.2% or 1,037 MT, and Cagayan Valley at 1.8% or 232 MT.

Meanwhile, coffee production rose 0.3% year on year to 17,220 MT.

SOCCSKSARGEN (South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and General Santos City) was the top coffee producer, growing up 31.9% or 5,499 MT, followed by the Davao Region at 13.9% or 2,391 MT, and Northern Mindanao at 12.5% or 2,146 MT.

Robusta coffee was the top coffee variety at 69.2% or 11,923 MT, followed by Arabica coffee at 21.9% or 3,764 MT, and Excelsa coffee at 8.3% or 1,431 MT.

Rubber production rose 0.04% year on year to 45,754 MT.

SOCCSKSARGEN led the country’s rubber production, accounting for 40.9% or 18,700 MT, followed by the Zamboanga Peninsula at 40% or 18,295 MT, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) at 7.3% or 3,351 MT.
Sugarcane production rose 6.9% year on year to 12.52 million MT.

Western Visayas was the top sugarcane producing region, growing 52.6% or 6.59 million MT, followed by Northern Mindanao at 16.9% or 2.11 million MT, and Central Visayas at 12.4% or 1.55 million MT.

Cacao production rose 16.7% year on year to 2,011 MT.

The Davao Region led the country’s cacao production at 79.2% or 1,592 MT, followed by the Zamboanga Peninsula at 3.3% or 66.59 MT, and Northern Mindanao at 3.1% or 62.59 MT.

The PSA estimated in May that the country’s total crop production fell 2.1% year on year in the first quarter of 2020.

Despite posting a decline, the crops sector accounted for the highest share of agricultural output at 54.9%. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave