Agricultural production in the region continues to move forward, with the steady increases achieved by cereals, some high value crops and poultry inched up last year despite of the challenges faced by the sector. Last year, regional economy posted a 6.1% growth. It contributed 4% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Agriculture, Hunting, Forestry and Fishing sector decreased by 1.9% in output. The sector accounted for 18.5% of the total output of the region.
Palay production achieved a 2,230,837 metric tons during the year making Western Visayas third among the regions in the country and contributing 11.57% to the national production. Province of Iloilo is the major source of palay in the region accounting to 42% of the total regional rice production followed by the provinces of Negros Occidental and Capiz with 21% and 16% respectively. Palay sufficiency inched up to 124% in 2017 from 114% in 2016. The increase in sufficiency index was attributed to the increase in yield by 3.41 MT/ha this year from 3.31 MT/ha last year.
In terms of corn production, the region got a 3.8% share to the national corn production ranking 6th among regions. Corn went up its production with an increase of 17,615 MT or 6.21% attributed to the sharp increase of area planted to corn from 42,356 in 2016 to 109,849 in 2017. Negros Occidental has the largest contribution to the regional production with 49% followed by Iloilo and Capiz with 29% and 18% share respectively.
In the area of High Value Crops, champion commodities of the region
which are abaca, mango, sugarcane, banana, coffee, coconut and vegetables all experienced a challenging production performance. Coconut and abaca recorded a hefty increase of 6% and 52% respectively, while coffee, sugarcane, banana, mango and vegetables slide down by 1%, 0.49%, 0.31%, 4% and 0.5%, respectively.
The region’s livestock subsector posted a decline in its production recorded at 15% for hogs, 20% for carabao, 7% for cattle while goat inched down by 18%. Chicken and duck meat reported a downward growth rate of 8.84% and 82%, respectively while chicken eggs inched up by 24%. In terms of regional standing relative to national production, region 6 ranked 1st in carabao, 5th in hogs, 7th in goat, 4th in cattle, 8th in chicken eggs and 5th in chicken meat.