A Review of the Agriculture Sector in Central Luzon

Reference Number: 124
Release Date: 08 November 2004


Number of Farms Decreased by 2.7 Percent in 2002

In 2002, Central Luzon registered 341.5 thousand farms for agriculture use, covering 552.1 thousand hectares. The region's total agricultural land area comprised 25.6 percent of the region's total land area. Compared with 1991, the number of farms decreased by 2.7 percent from 350.8 thousand farms. Likewise, the total area decreased by 12.7 percent from 632.5 thousand hectares. As a result, the average farm size slightly decreased from 1.8 hectares per farm in 1991 to 1.6 hectares per farm in 2002. Generally, the decrease in the number of agricultural farms could be attributed to the increasing population in the region at an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent. Agricultural lands could have been converted to residential or commercial lands to cope up with population growth especially in highly urbanized areas like Angeles City and Olongapo City.

    About 88.1 percent of the total farms in the region had at most two parcels with an average of 2 parcels per farm in 2002.

Table A. Number of Farms by Province: Central Luzon, 1991 and 2002
(Data are tabulated by residence of farm operators; Area is in Hectares; Details may not add up to total due to rounding.)

     Region and Province                Number of Farms                  Area of Farms       
    2002         1991         2002         1991    
Central Luzon    341,466    350,785    552,104    632,493
     Aurora      18,766      15.515      44,018      38,227
     Bataan      18,350      17,537      40,121      40,046
     Bulacan      46,183      48,451      63,134      69,242
     Nueva Ecija    119,148    125,441    196,390    223,853
     Pampanga     38,699      47,521      64,959      91,241
     Tarlac     72,006      70,271    107,505    122,034
     Zambales     28,314      26,049      35,979      47,850

Source: NSO, 1991 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries and 2002 Census of Agriculture

Nueva Ecija Accounted for the Largest Number of Farms

Nueva Ecija shared the largest number of farms in Central Luzon with a total of 119.1 thousand farms which utilized 196.4 thousand hectares of land for agriculture, also the biggest among the provinces. About 34.9 percent of the total number of farms and 35.6 percent of the total farm area in the region were accounted by this province. The average farm size was 1.6 hectares.

Tarlac followed with 72.0 thousand farms, covering 107.5 thousand hectares accounting for 21.1 percent of the total number of farms and 19.5 percent of the total farm area in the region.

Palay was the Major Temporary Crop in Central Luzon

Palay, which was grown in 522.8 thousand hectares in 250.1 thousand farms, was the major temporary crop in the region in 2002. However, the area devoted to this crop had decreased by 19.5 percent, from 649.7 thousand hectares in 1991. The next major temporary crop was tubers, roots and bulbs covering 21.3 thousand hectares in 44.5 thousand farms. Other temporary crops dominant in the region were corn (18.5 thousand hectares), sugarcane (17.0 thousand hectares), and fruit bearing vegetables (10.8 thousand hectares). Palay was the major temporary crop across provinces in Central Luzon in 2002. Nearly half (47.8 percent) of the region's total area planted with palay was in Nueva Ecija (249.9 thousand hectares) and almost one-fifth (19.3 percent) in Tarlac (101.0 thousand hectares).

Coconut was the Dominant Permanent Crop

In 2002, coconut was the dominant permanent crop in the region in terms of the number of hills/trees/vines. There were 3.7 million coconut trees planted in 104.4 thousand farms. The number of coconut trees increased by as much as 48.9 percent from a total 2.5 million trees in 1991. Banana ranked second with 3.6 million hills planted in 72.1 thousand farms. Mango, the third dominant crop with 2.6 million trees in 183.7 thousand farms, almost tripled over the 1991 estimated number of trees. The increase in the number of mango trees could be attributed to the increasing worldwide demand for Philippine mangoes. Other important permanent crops in the region were kalamansi and coffee robusta with 1.5 million trees and 545.3 thousand trees, respectively.

Across provinces, Aurora contributed the largest share in the number of coconut trees (69.3 percent) with 2.6 million. On the other hand, mango was the top permanent crop in Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga, banana in Bataan and Bulacan, and kalamansi in Nueva Ecija.

Individual Irrigation System was Common in the Region

In Central Luzon, irrigation was an essential means for increasing the production of agricultural crops in 2002. About 248.9 thousand farms with an irrigated area of 384.4 thousand hectares were supplied with water, or 69.6 percent of the total agricultural land. Individual system of irrigation was common in the region which supplied water to 123.4 thousand farms with an irrigated area of 164.2 thousand hectares. National irrigation system was the next common, which supplied water to 87.5 thousand farms with a total irrigated area of 132.1 thousand hectares. Agricultural lands planted with temporary crops benefited most of the irrigation facilities in the region.

Number of Hogs Increased by 58.5 Percent

Among the livestock reared and tended in Central Luzon, hogs had the largest population. From a total of 870.1 thousand hogs reported in 1991, the number went up to 1.4 million hogs in 2002 (58.5 percent increase). About 34.4 percent of these came from Tarlac, 32.0 percent from Bulacan, and 14.4 percent from Pampanga.

Tending of goats ranked second with 184.1 thousand heads tended in 41.2 thousand farms. There was an increase of about 8.7 percent from the 1991 headcount of 169.4 thousand. A high proportion of this livestock came from Nueva Ecija (34.4 percent).

Other major livestock reared and tended in Central Luzon were carabaos (153.4 thousand), cattle (132.1 thousand), and horses (4.2 thousand).

Source: NSO, 1991 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries and 2002 Census of Agriculture 

Raising of Chicken Dominated the Poultry Raising Activity

In 2002, the inventory of chicken in 200.2 thousand farms totaled to 26.3 million heads, a significant increase of 68.5 percent compared to the 1991 figure of 15.6 million headcount. Tarlac contributed 31.7 percent of the total number of chicken raised in the region followed by Pampanga with 29.2 percent share.

Next to raising of chicken was raising of quails which experienced a remarkable two-fold increase, from 1.1 million heads in 1991 to 3.4 million heads in 2002. Bulacan and Pampanga had the largest share on the total number of quails raised with 42.1 percent and 30.3 percent, respectively.

Raising of ducks came in third with 2.4 million heads in 61.6 thousand farms. A decrease of about 31 percent compared to 1991 inventory of ducks was observed. The largest share came from Nueva Ecija and Bulacan with 29.7 percent and 29.1 percent, respectively, of the total ducks raised in the region.

Ornamental and Flower Gardening was Also Practiced in the Region

Aside from the common agricultural activities like planting palay, corn, etc., ornamental and flower gardening (excluding orchids) was also practiced in the region with 1.3 thousand farms utilized for this activity. However, this figure was 54 percent lower than the 2.9 thousand farms utilized for this type of agricultural activity in 1991.

Orchid growing came in second with an increase of 93.0 percent from the number of farms utilized in 1991. More than one-fourth (28.6 percent) of the total farms utilized for orchid growing were in Zambales.

Nearly Nine in Ten Agricultural Operators were Males

About 87.8 percent of agricultural operators in the region were males. Among male agricultural operators, more than half (51.1 percent) were between 35 to 54 years old while majority of the female agricultural operators (67.5 percent) were older, from 50 years old and over.

One in Every Four Household Members were Engaged in Agriculture

Household members of agricultural operators were asked if they were engaged in any agricultural activity during the reference period, whether in their own holding, in other holding or both.

In 2002, a total of 254.5 thousand household members were engaged in agricultural activities (25.7 percent). Of this number, 202.0 thousand (79.4 percent) household members were engaged in own holding, 26.2 thousand (10.3 percent) both in their own holding and in the holding of others and 26.3 thousand in other holdings (10.3 percent).

While male operators dominated the agricultural operation in 2002, females engaged as helpers of their own farms or workers of other farms outnumbered males by 43.8 thousand.



Reference period - The reference period of the 2002 Census of Agriculture (CA 2002) was from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2002. However, data on livestock and poultry for CA 2002 were recorded as of the time of visit of the enumerators, i.e., anytime from March 3 to April 5, 2003, while the 1991 CAF data for livestock and poultry were recorded as of August 31, 1991. Moreover, the reference period applied for the temporary crops during CA 2002 was from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2002 while as of December 31, 2002 for the permanent crops. During the 1991 CAF, the reference period used for recording data on temporary and permanent crops was the past 12 months.

Farm - Any piece or pieces of land having a total area of at least 1,000 square meters used wholly or partly for the growing of crops such as palay, corn, fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc., and/or tending of livestock and/or poultry, regardless of number; or any land, regardless of area used for raising of at least 20 heads of livestock and/or 100 heads of poultry

Area of farm - The physical or actual measurement of the land, reported only once regardless of how many times it was used during the reference period, i.e., January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2002

Temporary Crops - Plants grown seasonally and whose growing cycle is less than one year and which must be sown or planted again for production after each harvest. In 1991, pineapple was treated as a temporary crop. Hence, the data for this crop was in terms of area planted and not the number of hills.

Permanent Crops - Plants that occupy the land for a period of time and do not need to be replaced after each harvest. Following the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) classification of pineapple as permanent crop, data for this crop for CA 2002 was in terms of number of hills.

Data limitation - The data referring to farms were tabulated according to the geographic area of the operator's residence which may not be the same as the actual location of the farm or farm parcels. 


Source:   National Statistics Office
                Manila, Philippines

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