A Review of the Agricultural Sector in SOCCSKSARGEN

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Saturday, November 6, 2004


Number of farms increased in 2002

In 2002, SOCCSKSARGEN posted 330.6 thousand farms for agricultural use, covering 775.3 thousand hectares. The region's total agricultural land area comprised 39.9 percent of the region's total land area. As the number of farms increased by 25.2 percent over the 264.1 thousand farms reported in 1991, the average farm size decreased from 2.8 hectares per farm to 2.3 hectares per farm. Generally, the increase in the number of agricultural farms and reduction in the farm size could be partly attributed to the distribution of land through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government.

About 87.9 percent of the farms in the region had one to two parcels with an average parcel size of around 1.98 hectares per parcel. Overall, the region reported an average of 1.9 parcels per farm in 2002.


Table A. Number and Area of Farms by Province: Soccsksargen, 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















     Sultan Kudarat





     South Cotabato
     (including Sarangani)





     South Cotabato
     (excluding Sarangani)










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


Cotabato reported the highest number of farms

Among the provinces in SOCCSKSARGEN, Cotabato shared the highest number of farms with 126.7 thousand, covering 275.5 thousand hectares of agricultural land. In fact, the total farms for the province accounted for 38.3 percent of the total farms in the region. Areas under agricultural land comprised 42 percent of the total land area of the province. Moreover, the number of agricultural farms for the province was higher by 13.7 thousand farms (12.2 percent) over the 1991 level while the total area was lower by 29.7 thousand hectares (9.7 percent).

South Cotabato ranked second with 85 thousand farms, covering 197.9 thousand hectares while Sarangani came in third with 59.5 thousand farms, covering 150.8 thousand hectares.

Corn was the major temporary crop in the region

Corn was the major crop in the region in terms of area planted. It accounted for 175 thousand farms with a combined area of 516.5 thousand hectares. This crop posted a 15.5 percent increase (23.4 thousand farms) in the number of farms and established a 29.1 percent increase (116.3 thousand hectares) in the area planted as compared with the 1991 estimates. Palay followed next with 121.1 thousand farms reporting, covering 301.9 thousand hectares. It recorded a 9.3 percent decrease in the number of farms but established a 13.4 percent increase in the area planted as compared with the 1991 estimates. Leguminous plants ranked third in 2002, registering a 51.1 percent increase in the number of farms and 4.4 percent increase in the total area planted over the 1991 figures.

Corn and palay were among the top five crops in all provinces in SOCCSKSARGEN in 2002. Corn was the top crop grown in all provinces except in Sultan Kudarat whose major crop was palay. South Cotabato covered more than one-third of the total area devoted to corn, while close to one-half was covered by Cotabato for palay.

Pineapple was the dominant permanent crop in 2002

In terms of the number of hills/trees/vines, pineapple was the dominant permanent crop in the region, accounting for 4.6 thousand farms planted with 40.3 million hills. Coconut, followed with 174 thousand farms planted with 12 million hills. Coffee robusta ranked third with 12.7 thousand farms planted with 11.6 million trees. Pineapple topped the list because of the vast pineapple plantation in the region particularly in South Cotabato where the DOLE plantation is situated. This province contributed 81.8 percent of the total pineapple planted in the region. In 1991, in terms of area planted, pineapple was also one of the major crops.

Banana and coconut were among the top five crops in all provinces where Cotabato recorded the biggest share of 41.1 percent for banana and Sarangani with 43 percent for coconut. Moreover, being one of the biggest producers of rubber in the country, rubber was the principal crop in Cotabato accounting for 96.9 percent of the total trees in the region. On the other hand, Sultan Kudarat reported about 87.1 percent share of the total coffee robusta trees in the region.

National irrigation system was common in Soccsksargen

Irrigation was an indispensable means for producing agricultural crops. In 2002, SOCCSKSARGEN had 123.7 thousand farms with an irrigated area of 203.9 thousand hectares, or 26.3 percent of the total agricultural land. The most common system of irrigation was the national irrigation system, which supplied water to 50.5 thousand farms with a total irrigated area of 82.8 thousand hectares. Communal system of irrigation followed next, which covered 52.5 thousand hectares. There were other systems of irrigation such as waterwheels, water fetching, windmills, among others, which supplied water to 25.8 thousand hectares of agricultural land. Farms planted with temporary crops benefited most of the irrigation facilities in the region.

Hog raising dominated the livestock raising activity

The dominant livestock raised in SOCCSKSARGEN in 1991 and 2002 was hogs. A total of 114.7 thousand farms reported to have reared 494 thousand hogs as of March 2003. In terms of the number of hogs tended, the figure increased by 21 percent over the 1991 total of 408.2 thousand hogs.

Carabao ranked second with 179.9 thousand heads tended, showing a 14.4 percent decrease compared to the 1991 figure. Experiencing a 3.8 percent increase over the 1991 figure, tending of goat ranked third with 168.6 thousand heads as of March 2003.

Hog was the top livestock tended in all provinces of the region in 2002. South Cotabato had the most number of hogs tended with 250.5 thousand heads, or 50.7 percent of the total for the region. On the other hand, Cotabato contributed the biggest share on the total carabao (41.8 percent), cattle (40.3 percent), and goat (58.4 percent) headcount in the region. Sarangani, which is the smallest province in the region in terms of land area, reported the biggest share (38 percent) to the total horse headcount.



Raising of chicken was the primary poultry raising activity

Raising of chicken was the primary poultry raising activity in SOCCSKSARGEN. About 251.1 thousand farms reported to have raised 5.3 million chicken in the region as of March 2003. In terms of the number of chicken raised, the figure was 55.8 percent higher over the 1991 level of 3.4 million.

Raising of ducks ranked second with 59.8 thousand farms reporting to have raised 1.7 million ducks as of March 2003. This registered an increase of 135.2 percent over the 1991 figure of 717.9 thousand ducks.

Among the provinces in the region, South Cotabato contributed most to the total chicken raised by as much as 48.8 percent, followed by Cotabato with 24.1 percent.

A number of farms were also engaged in ornamental and flower gardening

While most agricultural operators in SOCCSKSARGEN were engaged in common agricultural activities like planting palay, corn, etc., others were 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 in the region with 1.7 thousand farms. However, this figure was 69.2 percent lower than the 5.6 thousand farms reported in 1991.

Vermiculture/earthworm culture and mushroom culture also attracted the interest of the agricultural operators in 2002 where both posted a 256 percent increase.

One female for every 11 male agricultural operators

In 2002, SOCCSKSARGEN recorded 330.6 thousand agricultural operators aged 15 years and over, with 300.5 thousand males (90.9 percent) and 26.3 thousand females (8 percent). This translates to a ratio of one female for every 11 male agricultural operators.

Majority of the operators (62.6 percent) in the region belonged to the 25 to 49 year age group.

About 77 percent of the household members engaged in agriculture were working in own agricultural holding

Household members of the agricultural operators ages 10 years old and over 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 432.5 thousand household members were engaged in agricultural activities. Of this number, about 332.6 thousand (76.9 percent) were employed in own holding, 73.8 thousand (17.1 percent) both in their own holding and in the holding of others, and 26.1 thousand (6 percent) in other holdings.

About 231.5 thousand, or 44.6 percent of the household members 10 to 24 years old were engaged in an agricultural activity. Three in four of them were working in own holding.

While male operators dominated the agricultural operations in the year, female non-operator household members engaged in an agricultural activity (260.2 thousand) outnumbered their male counterparts by 95 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

Page last revised:   November 6, 2004