PHILIPPINE RAW SUGAR output for the crop year 2021-2022 starting in September is expected to be flat at 2.1 million metric tons (MT), according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In a report, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service said the flat projection for output is due to low farm productivity and unfavorable climate.
“Factors limiting growth include the slow decline in sugarcane area and low farm productivity, particularly in areas outside Negros Island that pull down the national average. While the industry aims to boost yields, results are not expected for two to three years when funds and implementation strategies are in place,” the USDA said.
“Climate will remain a major factor as drought or too much rain have an adverse effect on production, while crop diversification is also a possibility, as some farmers may decide to shift to more profitable options,” it added.
The USDA said its projection could be altered by proposals to liberalize the sugar industry. It cited a study conducted by the National Economic Development Authority in October which yielded policy recommendations to strengthen output, cut costs, and improve support initiatives.
“Stakeholders believe that the proposed trade liberalization would place significant challenges on the sugar industry, which is not yet equipped to face open competition,” the USDA said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave