PRODUCTION of abaca, coconut, coffee, rubber, and tobacco increased while sugarcane production decreased during the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
According to the recently-published Major Non-Food and Industrial Crops Quarterly Bulletin, the PSA said that abaca fiber production rose 6.7% year-on-year to 18.06 thousand metric tons (MT).
Bicol was the top producer of abaca at 7.39 thousand MT, accounting for 40.9% of total output, followed by Eastern Visayas with 16.7% and Davao Region, 12%.
Coconut output rose 2.7% year-on-year to 4.03 thousand MT, with the Davao region accounting for 12.8%, followed by Northern Mindanao at 12.2% and Zamboanga Peninsula at 10.8%.
Output of coffee in dried berry form was 29.60 thousand MT, up 0.8% year-on-year.
According to PSA, SOCCSKSARGEN was the top producer of coffee at 10.70 thousand MT or 36.4% of the total, followed by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with 21.6%, and Davao Region 16.7%.
Robusta coffee was the most-produced variety, composing 71.3% of the total, followed by Arabica with 23.7%, Excelsa 4.1% and Liberica 0.9%.
Rubber output in cup lump form was 142.72 thousand MT, up 3.2% year-on-year, with SOCCSKSARGEN accounting for 42.7% of the total, followed by Zamboanga Peninsula with 41.4%, and ARMM with 6.7%.
Tobacco output rose 14.9% year-on-year to 1.10 thousand MT despite fears that new taxes will depress production with Virginia tobacco accounting for 60.1% and native tobacco 39.9%.
Output of sugarcane, which may also come under pressure because of proposals to liberalize imports, declined 2.2% year-on-year to 7.03 million MT. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio