Sugarcane lands shrink due to solar plants, El Nino
There are now less lands planted to sugarcane due to conversion into solar plants and housing sites and a shift to other crops.
Businessworld reported that sugarcane acreage in crop year 2015-2016 shrank by 1.63 percent to 410,105.96 hectares compared with the previous crop year.
Businessworld quoted Sugar Regulatory Authority head Regina Martin attributing the decline of sugarcane lands to solar and agro-industrial projects.
Manuel Lamata, president of the Sugar Alliance of the Philippines, was also quoted as saying that housing and the lure of higher value, drought resistant crops also contributed to the decrease in sugarcane farms.
Martin said increased areas planted to corn and pineapple could also have pulled down the acreage sugarcane.
Pineapple and pineapple products topped the country’s list of exports in January with a value of $60.93 million.
In the last quarter of 2015, the Philippines produced 670,000 metric tons of pineapple.
There are 29 sugarcane mill districts in Luzon, 19 in the Visayas, and three in Mindanao.