Rice production in the Philippines is expected to decrease by approximately 300,000 tonnes during the third quarter of 2014 due to a delay in cultivating over 77,000ha of farmland, according to the Philippines’ Agriculture Department.

According to agriculture secretary via coordinator of the national rice programme, Edilberto de Luna, the delay was caused by uncertainties over this year’s El Nino.

Instead of planting crops in June, farmers started their cropping calendar in July, with harvests taking place in October, he added.

As a result, the volume of rice harvested would reach 3 million tonnes in the July- September period, down 10 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013.

The Agriculture Department is working to push cultivation in an attempt to meet the annual production target of 19.07 million tonnes of rice.-VNA