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Are there really more than 3 million hectares of irrigated rice fields in the Philippines? - Analysis of Bureau of Agriculture Statistics

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Analysis of Bureau of Agriculture Statistics

Fig. 02. Irrigated Ricelands (BASTAT) vs Total Irrigated Lands (NIS).


It is a striking coincidence that the total irrigated ricelands area (blue filled diamond,, Fig. 2) is almost about twice that to the total irrigated lands (violet filled squares,, Fig. 02). But, it may not be simply a coincidence.  Irrigated rice fields are used usually to cultivate rice at least twice (2) a year.  Some farmers would try three (3) rice cultivations a year. 

Ricefields: Irrigated, Rainfed & Total vs Total Irrigated Lands (NIS)
Ricefields: Irrigated, Rainfed & Total vs Total Irrigated Lands (NIS)



Also, the total of about 5Mha (in 2014) used for rice production would be contrary to Bureau of Agriculture data because there is only a total of just above 5Mha of arable lands ( of the total 9.7Mha agricultural lands. The second largest temporary crop cultivated is corn, and if the BASTAT data is correct, utilizes more than 2Mha of the total 5Mha arable land. While corn cultivation in the Philippines does not use irrigation, there are other crops that use water from existing irrigation systems, e.g., vegetable crops in the CAR region; most likely pineapple, banana, and other high value crops cultivated by multinational companies.