OUTPUT of major fruit crops, which include banana, pineapple and calamansi (Citrus microcarpa), rose in the second quarter, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
The agency’s quarterly bulletin shows that banana output in the three months to June rose to 2.27 million metric tons (MT), up 2.6% from a year earlier.
The expansion in banana production was atttributed to bigger bunches harvested in North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Misamis Oriental, Compostela Valley and Davao del Sur due to favorable rainfall; an increase in area harvested and number of bearing hills for Cavendish variety on corporate farms in Bukidnon, Sultan Kudarat, Davao City and Davao Oriental.
The Davao Region recorded the highest production at 917,230 MT which represented 40.4% of the country’s total production.
Cavendish banana, the main export variety, accounted for 52.5% of the total production of the fruit during the quarter.
Pineapple production also rose 1% to 675,200 MT as corporate farms in Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and South Cotabato expand their area planted to the commodity and Cavite and Laguna also saw increased planting due to attractive prices.
The top pineapple producer was Northern Mindanao representing a 51.7% share of total ouput.
Calamansi ouput rose 2.5% to 18,952 MT from 18,490 MT in 2016 with the Mimaropa region as the biggest calamansi producer accounting for 36.3% of the total.
The PSA attrbutes growth to greate yields in Zamboanga Sibugay and Tarlac due to increased application of fertilizer and proper pruning and bigger fruit produced in Sultan Kudarat due to favorable rainfall.
Meanwhile, mango output fell during the period by 10.1% to 545,280 MT.
This was largely due to a decrease in yields from Pangasinan — which was hit by cecid fly pest — and Zamboanga del Norte, with growing areas in general seeing rain during the critical flowering and fruit setting stages.
The second quarter also saw a decline in the number of mango-bearing trees in Cagayan and Isabela due to Typhoons Karen and Lawin.
The Ilocos region contributed the most to the national output with a 24.3% share.
Carabao mango made up 81.2% of total mango production. — Janina C. Lim