Alcala’s El Nino strategy an epic fail for peanut farmers in Pangasinan
The agriculture department may be trumpeting its efforts at El Nino mitigation but it appears to have failed peanut farmers in Pangasinan.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala’s strategy in helping farmers cope with El Nino involved having them plant crops such as peanuts and mung beans that required less water than rice.
The Philippine Statistics Authority said there were not enough peanut seeds for farmers to plant in Pangasinan.
Based on the PSA’s report on the Performance of Philippine Agriculture in the first quarter of the year, peanut production dropped by 7.9 percent in the first quarter of the year to 11,040 metric tons from 11,980 tons in the same period last year.
Despite lower production, the improvement in farm gate prices of peanut was negligible, growing by only 0.3 percent to P39.90 per kilogram from P39.78 per kilo in the same period last year.
The PSA blamed the fall in peanut production to “the decrease in area harvested as a result of unavailability of seeds in Pangasinan.” The Ilocos region is the biggest producer of peanut in the country, accounting for about a fifth of total production last year.
In Cagayan, peanut production also dropped as “the pod development of peanut was negatively affected by Typhoon Nona last year,” the PSA said. (By: Eileen A. Mencias)