Area planted increased by 7.53% in 2010. From 128.34 thousand hectares in 2009, it expanded to 138 thousand hectares in 2010. The number of mature trees increased to 39.36 million trees from 37.21 million trees in 2009. While the dry spell led to lower production in 1H2010, high demand and prices induced more tappings in the 2H2010. Consequently, production increased by 1.09% from 390.96 thousand MT in 2009 to 395.24 thousand MT in 2010. Zamboanga Peninsula led in rubber production in 2010.
Outlook. Output of natural rubber from key producing countries is forecasted to grow 4.8% to 9.77 million MT in 2011, according to the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries. The group’s members account for 92% of global production.
Recent Development. The Department of Agriculture (DA) allocated P50 million to boost the rubber industry in Basilan, the pioneer in rubber production and processing in the country. About P30 million will be used to acquire supplies and technologies to set up rubber tree nurseries. The DA allotted P10 million to build rubber processing plants, while the remaining P10 million will be used to rehabilitate roads in the town of Tipo-Tipo that lead to the rubber plantations. This rehabilitation program aims to improve and acquire new technology to enable them to produce export-quality rubber.
Tobacco production has been increasing moderately during the last three years as assurance of market as well better prices and higher income are urging farmers to plant more. In 2010, total production of tobacco increased by 11.40% to 40.53 thousand MT from 36.38 thousand MT in 2009. Production of the native variety, which was planted throughout the year, went up by 3.36% from 10.42 thousand MT in 2009 to 10.77 thousand MT in 2010. Virginia and other varieties (mostly Burley) were harvested only in the 1st half of the year. Output of Virginia tobacco increased to 18.84 thousand MT in 2010, 13.64% higher from 16.58 thousand...