A Review of the Agriculture Sector in Cagayan Valley

Reference Number: 

No. 118

Release Date: 

Wednesday, November 3, 2004


Number of farms increased in 2002

In 2002, Cagayan Valley recorded 321.8 thousand farms for agricultural use, covering 540.8 thousand hectares. The region's total agricultural land area comprised 20.2 percent of the region's total land area. Although the number of farms and area increased by 12.6 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively over the 1991 estimates, the average farm size decreased from 1.86 hectares per farm to 1.68 hectares per farm. Generally, the increase in the number of agricultural farms and area could be partly attributed to the characteristics of the region as its economy relies heavily on agriculture while the decrease in average farm size could be attributed to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government.

About 95.2 percent of the farms in the region had one to four parcels with an average parcel size of around 1.53 hectares per parcel. Overall, the region reported an average of 2.5 parcels per farm in 2002.

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

     Region/Province                No. of Farms                  Area of Farms       
    2002         1991         2002         1991    
Cagayan Valley 321,755 285,721 540,812 530,143
     Batanes 1,958 2,121 5,138 3,637
     Cagayan 118,691 99,666 175,548 164,916
     Isabela 129,715 130,756 240,600 261,684
     Nueva Vizcaya 48,160 37,174 71,590 56,763
     Quirino 23,231 16,004 47,936 43,143

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

Isabela reported the highest number of farms

Among the provinces in Cagayan Valley, Isabela shared the highest number of farms with 129.7 thousand, covering 240.6 thousand hectares of agricultural land. In fact, the total farms for the province accounted for 40.3 percent of the total farms in the region. Areas under agricultural land comprised 22.6 percent of the total land area for the province. Its agricultural land was the largest in the region where 44.5 percent of the total agricultural land area in the region were contributed by this province. This pattern was also true in 1991.

Cagayan ranked second with 118.7 thousand farms, covering 175.5 thousand hectares while Nueva Vizcaya came in third with 48.2 thousand farms, covering 71.6 thousand hectares.

Palay was the major temporary crop in the region

Palay was the major temporary crop in the region in terms of area planted. It accounted for 197.3 thousand farms with a combined area of 420.5 thousand hectares. This crop recorded a 5.4 percent decrease in terms of area planted but established a 1.6 percent increase in the number of farms as compared with the 1991 estimates. Corn ranked second with 124.9 thousand farms reporting, covering 275.2 thousand hectares. It registered a 14.1 percent increase in the area planted and 3.7 percent increase in the number of farms. Ranked third was leguminous plants, which posted the biggest increase among the five major crops by 111.1 percent in the area planted and 6.4 percent in the number of farms as compared to the 1991 figures.

For all provinces in Cagayan Valley except Batanes and Quirino, palay was the top temporary crop in 1991 and 2002. Isabela, being the biggest rice producer of the region had the highest area planted with palay covering 189.3 thousand hectares, or 45 percent of the total area devoted for this crop in the region. On the other hand, the biggest area of agricultural land in Batanes was planted with tuber, roots and crops, while corn in Quirino.

Banana was the dominant permanent crop

Meanwhile, banana was the dominant permanent crop planted in the region in terms of the number of trees/vines/hills, accounting for 109.9 thousand farms planted with 12.6 million hills. Although pineapple was not included in the top five crops of the region in 1991 in terms of area planted, this crop climbed to rank two in 2002 in terms of the number of trees/vines/hills, with 8.3 thousand farms planted with 11.1 million hills. Coconut ranked third with 137.4 thousand farms planted with 1.8 million trees. In 1991, banana and coconut were also the dominant permanent crops in the region.

By province, Isabela and Quirino reported banana as the major permanent crop in terms of the number of trees/hills/vines, pineapple in Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya, and coconut in Batanes.

National irrigation system was common in Cagayan Valley

Irrigation was an indispensable means for producing agricultural crops. In 2002, Cagayan Valley had 200.6 thousand farms with an irrigated area of 281.7 thousand hectares, or 52.1 percent of the total agricultural land. The most common system of irrigation was the national system, which supplied water to 77.3 thousand farms with a total irrigated area of 115.5 thousand hectares. Individual system of irrigation followed next, which covered 73.9 thousand hectares of land while communal system came in third, supplying water to an area of 48.2 thousand hectares. Agricultural lands 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 Cagayan Valley in 1991 and 2002 was hogs. A total of 151.7 thousand farms reported to have reared 538.8 thousand hogs as of March 2003. In terms of the number of hogs tended, the figure increased by 23.3 percent over the 1991 total of 437 thousand hogs.

Carabao raising placed second in 2002 with 417 thousand heads tended, showing a 55.7 percent increase over the 1991 figure. Experiencing a 33.1 percent increase over the 1991 figure, tending of cattle ranked third with 128.9 thousand heads as of March 2003.

The province of Cagayan had the most number of hogs tended with 244.8 thousand heads, or 45.4 percent share to the total hog population in the region. Likewise, this province contributed the highest proportion of carabaos (56.8 percent), goats(47.4 percent), and horses (58.8 percent) to the total headcount in the region. On the other hand, Isabela contributed more than half (54.4 percent) of the total cattle in the region.

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


Chicken was the primary poultry raising activity

Raising of chicken was the primary poultry raising activity in Cagayan Valley. About 246.2 thousand farms reported to have raised 7.7 million chicken in the region as of March 2003. In terms of the number of chicken raised, the figure was almost two-fold higher than the 1991 level of 3.1 million heads.

Raising of ducks ranked second with 65.5 thousand farms reporting to have raised 2.4 million ducks as of March 2003. This registered an increase of 163 percent over the 1991 figure of 911.3 thousand ducks.

Among the provinces in the region, Cagayan contributed most (61.7 percent) to the total chicken raised in the region, followed by Isabela with 26.7 percent and Nueva Vizcaya with 7.8 percent. Likewise, a high proportion of ducks came from these three provinces where more than half (58.8 percent) were from Cagayan.

Ornamental and flower gardening also common in the region

While most agricultural operators in Cagayan Valley 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 reported the highest number of farms engaged in the region (1.3 thousand farms).

Another activity that also attracted the interest of agricultural operators in 2002 was orchid growing where it posted a 146.5 percent increase, or from 486 farms in 1991 to 1,198 farms in 2002.

One female for every ten male agricultural operators

In 2002, Cagayan Valley recorded 321.8 thousand agricultural operators aged 15 years and over, of which 290.6 thousand were males (90.3 percent) and 27.9 thousand were females (8.7 percent). This translates to a ratio of one female for every ten male agricultural operators.

Majority of the operators in the region (53.6 percent) belonged to the 30 to 49 year age.

About 69 percent of the household members engaged in an 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 483 thousand household members were engaged in agricultural activities. Of this number, 332.9 thousand (68.9 percent) were employed in own holding, 124.8 thousand (25.8 percent) both in their own holding and in the holding of others, and 25.4 thousand (5.3 percent) in other holdings.

Nearly one in two (46.4 percent) of the household members aged 10 to 24 years was engaged in an agricultural activity. More than two-thirds of them (67.4 percent) were working in their own holding.

While male operators dominated the agricultural operations in the year, female non-operator household members who were engaged in an agricultural activity (295.8 thousand), outnumbered their male counterparts by 114.5 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