A Review of the Agriculture Sector in Western Visayas

Reference Number: 128
Release Date: 11 November 2004


Number of farms increased by four percent in 2002

The number of agricultural farms in Western Visayas had increased from 411.6 thousand farms in 1991 to 429.5 thousand farms in 2002. On the other hand, the farm area declined from 754.4 thousand hectares to 666.9 thousand hectares. Agricultural land area accounted for 32.4 percent of the region's total land area. The reduction in the farm area and increase in the number of farms posted a decrease in the average farm size from 1.8 hectares per farm in 1991 to 1.6 hectares per farm in 2002.

The region reported an average of two parcels per farm in 2002.

Table A. Number and Area of Farms by Province: Western Visayas, 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    
Western Visayas      429,456    411,572    666,917    754,386
         42,169      408,89      45,233     70,878
     Antique         41,257      43,522      46,077     53,270
     Capiz        63,785      60,238      83,688     87,552
     Negros Occidental      132,137    115,914    277,315    320,500
     Iloilo (including Guimaras)      150,108    151,009    214,784    252,186
     Iloilo (excluding Guimaras)      133,477      186,254  
     Guimaras       16,631       28,530  

Source: National Statistics Office, 1991 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries and 2002 Census of Agriculture

Iloilo had the highest number of farms

Among the provinces in Western Visayas, Iloilo had the largest number of farms, at 133.5 thousand farms, covering 186.3 thousand hectares of agricultural land. In fact, the total farms for the province accounted for 31.1 percent of the total farms in the region. Areas under agricultural land in Iloilo comprised 27.9 percent of the total land area for the region. Guimaras, which was formerly part of Iloilo had 16.6 thousand farms with an area of 28.5 thousand hectares. The number and area of agricultural farms for these two provinces when combined registered a decrease of 0.6 percent and 14.8 percent, respectively over the 1991 levels. Iloilo was closely followed by Negros Occidental with 132.1 thousand farms and an area of 277.3 thousand hectares. Its number of farms increased by 14 percent while its farm area decreased by about the same percent (13.5 percent) from 1991 to 2002. This province also had the largest farm area in the region (41.6 percent).

Palay was the major temporary crop in the region in terms of area planted

Palay was the major temporary crop in the region in terms of area planted. This crop was planted in an area of 471.4 thousand hectares in 292.5 thousand farms. Sugarcane followed next with 43.9 thousand farms reporting, covering 136.1 thousand hectares. Corn ranked third with 68.2 thousand farms, covering 55.7 thousand hectares. These crops were also the top temporary crops in 1991 with the same ranking as in 2002. All the major crops except leguminous plants decreased in terms of area planted, where corn posted the biggest decrease of 53.5 percent from the 1991 estimates.

Sugarcane was the dominant crop in Negros Occidental, the nation's "sugar bowl". This province contributed 86.2 percent of the total area planted with sugarcane in the region. The other provinces in Western Visayas reported palay as their top temporary crop.

Banana was the dominant permanent crop

In terms of the number of trees/vines/hills planted, banana was the dominant permanent crop in the region with eight million hills planted in 228.7 thousand farms. This was lower by 29 percent from the 1991 figure of 11.3 million hills and lower also by 34 percent in terms of the number of farms reporting. Coconut trees followed with 221.4 thousand farms planted with 5.8 million trees. Coffee robusta ranked third with 7.6 thousand farms planted with 3.5 million trees. These crops were also among the dominant permanent crops reported in 1991 in terms of trees/vines/hills planted, in addition to ipil-ipil which placed second in 1991.

Across provinces, banana and coconut were the common top permanent crops. Coconut was the number one crop in Aklan and Antique; banana in Capiz, Iloilo and Negros Occidental; and kalamansi in Guimaras.

Individual system of irrigation was common in Western Visayas

Irrigation was an indispensable means for producing agricultural crops. In 2002, Western Visayas had about 192.9 thousand farms with an irrigated area of 256.4 thousand hectares, or 38.4 percent of the total agricultural land. The most common system of irrigation was the individual system, which supplied water to 50.6 thousand farms with an irrigated area of 94.1 thousand hectares. Communal system of irrigation followed next, with 47.3 thousand farms which covered 47.3 thousand hectares, while the national irrigation system came in third, supplying water to 42 thousand farms, covering 58.9 thousand hectares of agricultural land. There were also a number of farms (89.1 thousand) utilizing other systems of irrigation such as windmills, waterwheels, water fetching, etc.

Hog raising dominated the livestock raising activity

As of March 2003, hog was the dominant livestock raised in Western Visayas. There were 480.1 thousand heads reported being raised in 186.6 thousand farms. The number of hogs tended was 9.9 percent higher than the 1991 hog population of 436.7 thousand.

Carabao raising was the next important livestock activity in the region, with 236 thousand heads tended, despite a decrease of 15.4 percent compared to the 1991 headcount of 278.8 thousand. Similarly, goat raising which ranked third, declined to 154.4 thousand heads in 2002 from 189 thousand in 1991.

In all provinces of Western Visayas except Guimaras, raising of hogs was the top livestock activity. About the same proportion of hogs were raised in Iloilo (32.8 percent) and Negros Occidental (32 percent). On the other hand, the top livestock activity in Guimaras was cattle raising.

Source: National Statistics Office, 1991 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries and 2002 Census of Agriculture

Raising of chicken was the primary poultry raising activity

Raising of chicken was the primary poultry raising activity in Western Visayas. The total chicken raised in 352.3 thousand farms in the region was estimated at 7.3 million, or 26.2 percent higher than the 1991 figure of 5.8 million. Ranked second was duck raising, which rose to 762.2 thousand as of March 2003, from 712.5 thousand ducks in 1991. Likewise, quail raising which ranked third, increased to 56.4 thousand heads.

Among the provinces in the region, Iloilo and Negros Occidental contributed most to the total chicken raised in the region by as much as 35.5 percent and 33 percent, respectively. On the other hand, more than one-third (36.8 percent) of the duck population in the region came from Iloilo.


Ornamental and flower gardening (excluding orchid) was also common in the region

While most agricultural operators in Western Visayas were engaged in common agricultural activities like planting of sugarcane, palay, corn, etc., others were also involved in other agricultural activities like bee culture/honeybee production, silkworm production, among others. For these types of agricultural activities, ornamental and flower gardening (excluding orchid) was reported as the most common in the region covering about four thousand farms. However, this figure was 60.3 percent lower than the 10.1 thousand farms reported in 1991.

Orchid growing was also practiced in 1.9 thousand farms in 2002.

Male operators dominated the agricultural operation

As expected, more male operators were engaged in agricultural operation than their female counterparts. In 2002, male operators (368.2 thousand) accounted for 85.7 percent of the total agricultural operators in the region.

Nearly half (48.1 percent) of the operators in the region belonged to the 35 to 54 year age group.

Majority of the household members engaged in agriculture were working in own agricultural holdings

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

In 2002, a total of 631.9 thousand household members were engaged in agricultural activities. Of this number, 499.4 thousand (79 percent) were employed in their own holdings, 92.8 thousand (14.7 percent) in both their own holdings and holdings of others; and 39.7 thousand (6.3 percent) in other holdings.

About 197.2 thousand, or 37.5 percent of the household members 10 to 19 years old were engaged in an agricultural activity. Four out of five of them were working in their own holdings.

While males dominated the agricultural operations in the year, female non-operator household members who were engaged in an agricultural activity (373.3 thousand) outnumbered their male counterparts by 122.3 thousand.



Reference period - The reference period of the 2002 Census of Agriculture (CA 2002) was from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2002. However, the data on livestock and poultry for CA 2002 were recorded as of the date of visit of the enumerators, i.e., anytime from March 3 to April 5, 2003, while the 1991 Census of Agriculture and Fisheries 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 growing of crops such as palay, corn, fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc., and/or for 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 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 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 (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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