The Philippines’s rice production reached over 18.4 million tonnes in 2013, up 2.3 percent from 2012 thanks to a bumper crop during its fourth quarter.

According to the Philippines Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), the fourth quarter’s rice output rose 8.2 percent year-on-year to 7.08 million tonnes, thanks to high production in central Luzon, Caraga, Bicol and the autonomous region in Islam Mindanao.

During last year, the total rice cultivation acreage increased from 4.69 million hectares in 2012 to 4.75 million hectares.

The BAS reported that this year’s rice output is expected to hit record highs, with 8.43 million tonnes in the first half thanks to a 3.7 percent increase in total rice growing area.-VNA