A Review of the Agriculture Sector in Eastern Visayas

Reference Number: 126
Release Date: 10 November 2004


Number of farms increased by three percent in 2002

In 2002, Eastern Visayas registered 330.8 thousand farms for agricultural use, covering 723 thousand hectares. The region's total agricultural land area comprised 32.5 percent of the region's total land area. As the number of farms in the region increased by 2.9 percent and the corresponding farm area by 3.9 percent over the 1991 estimates, the average farm size slightly increased, from 2.16 hectares per farm in 1991 to 2.19 hectares per farm in 2002.

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

Table A. Number and Area of Farms by Province:
Eastern Visayas, 1991 and 2002 
(Data are tabulated by residence of 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    
     Eastern Visayas    330,750    321,456    723,048    695,711
     Eastern Samar      35,856      29,848    101,255     77,001
     (including Biliran)
   148,598    154,805    278,115    292,197
     (excluding Biliran)
   136,209      258,632  
     Biliran      12,389        19,483  
     Northern Samar      49,886     41,656    179,503    152,445
     Samar      57,033     53,168    101,954    104,913
     Southern Leyte      39,377     41,978     62,220      69,155

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

Leyte had the highest number of farms

Among the provinces in Eastern Visayas, Leyte shared the highest number of farms with 136.2 thousand, covering 258.6 thousand hectares of agricultural land. In fact, the total farms in the province accounted for 41.2 percent of the total farms in the region. The agricultural land comprised 39.4 percent of the total land area of the province. Biliran, on the other hand, had 12.4 thousand farms covering 19.5 hectares of land. These two provinces combined registered 148.6 thousand farms and 278.1 thousand hectares, lower than the 1991 estimates by four percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.

Samar ranked second with 57 thousand farms, covering 102 thousand hectares, while Northern Samar came in third with 49.9 thousand farms, covering 179.5 thousand hectares.

Palay was the major temporary crop in the region

In 1991 and 2002, palay was the major temporary crop in the region in terms of area planted. This crop accounted for 147.7 thousand farms with a combined area of 256.9 thousand hectares in 2002. Tubers, roots and bulbs followed with 135.8 thousand farms reporting, covering 26 thousand hectares of land. This crop ranked third in 1991. Corn followed next, planted in 33.2 thousand hectares covering 21.2 thousand hectares.

Sugarcane ranked fourth in 2002, from 7.5 thousand hectares in 1991 to 9.9 thousand hectares in 2002, or an increase of 32.2 percent.

In 2002, palay and tubers, roots and bulbs were the top temporary crops in most provinces of the region. Corn was the second major crop in Leyte.

Coconut was the dominant permanent crop

Coconut was the principal permanent crop in the region in terms of the number of trees/vines/hills. About 52.1 million coconut trees were planted in 234.5 thousand farms. Most of these trees (32.4 percent) were grown in Northern Samar. Abaca followed with 29.1 thousand farms planted with 14.6 million hills. A high proportion (37.6 percent) of this crop was in Southern Leyte. This was the major crop of the province. Banana, on the other hand, came in third with 189.3 thousand farms, planted with 7.5 million hills. Leyte contributed 33 percent of the banana hills in the region.

In 1991, ipil-ipil and cacao were also the major permanent crops planted, in addition to banana, coconut and abaca.

Communal system of irrigation was common in Eastern Visayas

Irrigation was an indispensable means for producing agricultural crops. In 2002, Eastern Visayas had about 104.7 thousand farms with an irrigated area of 136.6 thousand hectares, or 18.9 percent of the total agricultural land. The most common irrigation system used by farms in Eastern Visayas was the communal system of irrigation that covered 32.1 thousand hectares of land. Next to this was the individual irrigation system, supplying water to 37.3 thousand hectares of lands. Farms planted with temporary crops benefited most of the irrigation facilities in the region.

There were other irrigation systems used by farms in Eastern Visayas such as waterwheels, water fetching, etc., which supplied water to 35.6 thousand farms with a total irrigated area of 38.2 thousand hectares.

Hog raising dominated the livestock raising activity

The dominant livestock raised in Eastern Visayas was hogs. A total of 170.6 thousand farms reported to have reared 421 thousand hogs. In terms of the number of hogs reared, the figure decreased by 12.9 percent as compared to 1991 hog population.

Carabao raising ranked second with 215.3 thousand heads tended, showing an increase over the 1991 figure (170 thousand heads). Goat raising ranked third with 40.2 thousand heads, experiencing a 22.4 percent decrease over the 1991 figure.

Hog raising was also the top livestock activity in all provinces of Eastern Visayas, with Leyte sharing the highest number of hogs tended (50.3 percent of the region). Carabao raising ranked second in all provinces.

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 Eastern Visayas. About 222.3 thousand farms reported to have raised 4.1 million chicken in the region. In terms of the number of chicken raised, the 2002 level is almost twice as the 1991 inventory.

Raising of ducks ranked second with nine thousand farms reporting to have raised 125.3 thousand ducks. This registered a 40.4 percent decrease over the 1991 figure of 210.2 thousand heads. Similarly, quail raising slightly decreased to 532 farms reporting but increased to 9.8 thousand in terms of headcount in 2002.

Among the provinces in the region, Leyte had the largest contribution (40.1 percent) to the total chicken population, followed by Northern Samar (24.6 percent), and Samar (13 percent).

Ornamental and flower gardening was also common in the region

While most agricultural operators in Eastern Visayas were engaged in common agricultural activities like planting 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) reported the highest number of farms engaged in the region (1.7 thousand farms). However, the figure was 71.9 percent lower than the six thousand farms reported in 1991.

Mushroom culture also attracted the interest of the agricultural operators in 2002 where the number of farms engaged in 2002 was almost three times as that of 1991.

Male operators dominated the agriculture industry

There were more male operators engaged in agricultural operations than females. In 2002, male operators (290.3 thousand) accounted for 87.8 percent of the total agricultural operators in the region.

Majority of the operators in the region (55.2 percent) belonged to the 30 to 54 year age group.

Majority of the household members engaged in agricultural activity were working in own agricultural holding

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

In 2002, a total of 434.2 thousand household members were engaged in agricultural activities. Of this number, 368.3 thousand (84.8 percent) were employed in own holding, 40 thousand (9.2 percent) both in own holding and in the holding of others, and 25.9 thousand (6 percent) in other holdings.

Moreover, while males dominated the agricultural operations during the year, female non-operator household members who were engaged in an agricultural activity (254.9 thousand) outnumbered their male counterparts by 84.7 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 (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 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.

Data for Leyte and Biliran - For purposes of comparison with 1991, data for Leyte and Biliran were also combined in 2002. 


Source:   National Statistics Office
                Manila, Philippines

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