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Top 10 Crops and Agricultural Products in the Philippines

The Philippines is both an agricultural and industrial country and rice is the most important  Filipino staple food.

Every year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA) are closely monitoring the rice production and supply in the country in order to meet the volume of demand needed by the Filipino people.

Despite the country’s high palay production, the government is still importing rice from other Asian countries like Vietnam and Thailand, in order to maintain the needed yearly rice quantity.

Aside from palay, the following are the top ten crops and agricultural products in the Philippines is known for.

1. Sugarcane

A truckload of sugarcane in Bacolod City. Image credit

With an average of 23 million metric tons of sugarcane production every year, the Philippines is the ninth biggest sugar producer in the world, with Negros Island in the Western Visayas region is the country’s top producer. Despite this, the country is still importing sugar due to several international economic agreements, prompting local sugar’s price to increase.

2. Palay

Palay (rice)  is the second top agricultural product of the Philippines in terms of volume.  The latest data provided by the Philippine Statistics Office says the country had produced 17.6 metric tons of palay in 2016. Central Luzon, Bicol Region, Central Visayas, and Panay and Mindoro Islands are the country’s top rice-producing regions and provinces.

3. Coconut

Coconut, as considered “the tree of life” is the third top agricultural product in the Philippines. With a yearly average of 14 metric tons, coconut is one of the most productive crops in the country. Calabarzon, the Bicol Region, and some parts of Mindanao are the country’s top coconut producers. Coconut-related products are among the Philippines’ most important exports.

4. Banana

The Philippines produce an average of 9 million metric tons a year from Mindanao and Mindoro Islands. Banana products from Mindanao, especially from Davao, are among the country’s biggest imports. Philippines’ banana products are known worldwide.

5. Corn

The Philippines produce an average of 7.5 million metric tons of corn every year and much of these are used in animal feed production. In Cebuano-speaking regions like Cebu, Negros Oriental, and other parts of Mindanao, corn is preferred as staple food instead of rice.

6. Casava

Cassava is another important crop in the Philippines and its uses are not only limited to food. Cassava is also used in some industrial applications like glue and other related products. Mindanao region is the biggest cassava producer, accounting for more than 75% of the country’s 2.7 million metric tons yearly cassava production.

6. Pineapple

Pineapple in the Philippines is an important product and consumed both locally and abroad. Del Monte and Dole food companies have  pineapple farms in Mindanao, especially in Davao, Surigao, and Bukidnon. The country is producing an average of 2.6  metric tons of pineapple during the early season.

7. Mango

Mango from Guimaras Island is considered the best in the world. Davao is also a big producer and exporter of this Philippine-native product. The country is producing an average of 814,000 metric tons of mango every year.

8. Camote

Camote or sweet potato is also a very important crop in the Philippines. Sweet potato is considered a primary “merienda” by urban people in the country, especially in the Western Visayas region, as a substitute for saba banana and sweet corn. The country is producing an average of 530,000 metric tons of sweet potato every year mostly from Central Luzon

9. Rubber

Rubber is one of the most important exports and the only non-food agricultural product on this list. Rubber trees are mostly grown in Socsargen and Zamboanga Peninsula.

10. Lanzones

Lanzones are abundant in the Philippines especially in Batangas, Negros Occidental, and in Mindanao Island. Camiguin Island is very popular when speaking about this fruit as the province is celebrating Lanzones Festival each year.

Other important crops that failed to enter the top but are also important are cacao, abaca, coffee, peanut, mongo (soybeans), garlic, onions, and pili nut, and tobacco.

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