By MARK FRANCISCO, Staff WriterQUARRYING in several areas in Northern Mindanao has contributed to the decrease in freshwater fish production for the first quarter of 2017.
In its quarterly report released recently, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) 10 reported that there were only 168 metric tons of freshwater fish produced between January to March as compared to 290 metric tons for the same period last year or a decline of 42 percent.
This has partly contributed to a decline in overall fish production in Northern Mindanao for the period by 11 percent.
Total fish production in the region is only at 33,640 metric tons compared to 38,058 metric tons for the first quarter of 2016, consisting of produce from brackish water, freshwater, fish cages, commercial and municipal waters.
NEDA 10 specialist Clark Clarete also attributed decrease to the decision of some fisherfolk in Misamis Occidental to unload their catch in the Zamboanga region.
“Other factors also contributed such as the dry docking of many fishing boats in Camiguin and weather disturbances in Misamis Oriental. Another contributing factor was the strong water current in the
Napocor reservoir in Bukidnon and the quarrying activities in some rivers, destroying inland fish habitat,” Clarete said.
Clarete likewise reported that seaweeds production declined due to siltation in Lanao del Norte attributed to weather-caused landslides. “Some farmers were also discouraged to continue their rearing operation due to low buying price,” he added.
Meanwhile, palay production of Northern Mindanao exceeded its level for the first quarter of this year by 9.11 percent as compared to the same period last year, bringing the total production to 185,682 metric tons, translating to 1.3 million bags of total stocks.
Rice sufficiency for the inhabitants of Region 10 is at 83.7 percent, seven percent points higher than in the first quarter of 2016.
Clarete attributed the increase to both adequate irrigation and rainfall in the region particularly in Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte as well as availability of hybrid seeds coming from the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Corn production likewise increased by 27.12 percent to 316,675 metric tons for the same comparative periods.
“Increases were more pronounced in Camiguin and Misamis Oriental for both white and yellow corn varieties due to favourable weather,” Clarete told local journalists during a press conference on the matter that day.
Northern Mindanao’s number one export, coconut and its by-products, lowered by 1.77 percent though.
Among the coconut products exported by the region are activated carbon, coconut chemicals, coconut fiber, coconut cream, coconut milk powder, coconut oil, coconut husk, coconut shell charcoal, charcoal briquette, coconut water, copra cake/meal, dessicated coconut, coco peat, fresh young nut, reduced fat coconut, sweetened coconut, toasted coconut, palm acid oil and palm oil-fatty acid, totalling 124,024 metric tons.
Other industrial crops such as sugarcane, banana and pineapple did not fare well too decreasing production by 16 percent.
But household consumables such as vegetables, rootcrops and fruit crops increased yield during the period.
Combined livestock and poultry production reached 20,586 heads, up 3.4 percent from the previous year’s level.
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