MANILA — The Philippines produced more coconut in the first half of 2018 compared with the same period last year, on the back of favorable weather, specifically enough rains, and government fertilizer inputs.
Latest data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed coconut production in the country rose 5.68 percent to 6.64 million metric tons in January-June this year from 6.28 million MT a year ago.
The commodity recovered from a 1.6-percent drop in 2017, when the weather was not so favorable for the product’s growth, the PSA noted.
The country’s first-semester coconut production this year even exceeded 2016’s first-half production of 6.38 million MT.
Among other commodities, coconut also registered the highest gain in production this year.
January-June 2018 production volume growth rates were lower for palay (1.68 percent), corn (1.75 percent), sugarcane (-21.77 percent), banana (2.95 percent), pineapple (2.36 percent), coffee (-7.58 percent), mango (-4.27 percent), tobacco (-1.63 percent), abaca (1.07 percent), peanut (1.09 percent), and mongo (4.39 percent).
Growth rates were also lower for cassava (-3.77 percent), sweet potato (-2.28 percent), tomato (1.06 percent), garlic (-2.48 percent),
onion (-6.77 percent), cabbage (-3.26 percent), eggplant (2.16 percent), calamansi (-2.05 percent), rubber (2.84 percent), and other
crops (0.51 percent).
Contributing to coconut’s positive turn-around this year were production gains in the second quarter of 2018, mainly due to government fertilization interventions and favorable weather, the PSA said.
Second quarter volume of coconut production grew 3.90 percent to 3.33 million MT in 2018, exceeding last year’s 3.21 million MT.
“More nuts were harvested as a result of application of salt fertilizer distributed by the Philippine Coconut Authority and adequate rains during the fruit development stage in Soccsksargen,” the PSA explained further.
Boosting production in Northern Mindanao were sufficient rainfall during coconut’s nut formation and fruiting stages, as well as recovery from effects of intense heat in 2016, the agency also noted.
“There were also additional bearing trees and more nuts developed due to sufficient water during nut formation and development stages in Calabarzon,” it added.
Fertilization and favorable weather likewise helped fuel an even bigger 8.45-percent increase in nationwide coconut production in the first quarter of the year, the PSA said.