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2002 Census of Agriculture Highlights

The data contained in the highlights of the 2002 Census of Agriculture were based on the tabulated results according to the geographic location of the residence of the agricultural operators.

Number of Farms Increased by 1.9 Percent in 2002
The number of farms in Bicol Region slightly increased by 1.9 percent, from 377.8 thousand in 1991 to 384.8 thousand in 2002. These farms covered an area of 892.0 thousand hectares, almost half (48.4 percent) of the regionís total land area. However, the total area of farms in the region decreased by 4.7 percent during the period mentioned. This is attributed to the decrease in the area of farms in almost all provinces in the region, especially Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur with 13.2 percent and 7.8 percent reduction, respectively. Likewise, the average farm size decreased from 2.5 hectares in 1991 to 2.3 hectares in 2002.

About 38.1 percent of the farms in the region had one parcel or an average of two parcels per farm in 2002.

Camarines Sur had the Largest Number of Farms and Biggest Farm Area
Although Camarines Sur accounted for the highest number of farms (134.1 thousand) and the largest farm area in the region (263.0 thousand hectares), its average farm size was only 2.0 hectares.

Masbate ranked second in terms of farm area in Bicol Region with 207.5 thousand hectares in 59.4 thousand farms. About 23.3 percent of the total farm area in the region was accounted for by this province. This resulted to an average farm size of 3.5 hectares, the largest among provinces in the region.

Majority of Farms were Individually Operated
In Bicol Region, about 378.4 thousand farms (98.3 percent) occupying 864.2 thousand hectares were individually operated and 2.4 thousand farms (0.6 percent) covering 6.5 thousand hectares were operated under partnership. The latter type of organization means that farms were operated by two or more competent persons who associated themselves in a common ownership and management of the farm.

Slightly Less Than Half of the Farms were Owned
In 2002, about 158.4 thousand farms (41.2 percent) occupying 373.4 thousand hectares of land were fully owned or were under ownerlike possession such as held under Certificate of Land Transfer (CLT) or Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), inherited lands or area operated uncontestedly/uninterrupted for 30 years or more without title of ownership. The region had also a notable number of partly owned farms with 133.2 thousand farms utilizing 324.1 thousand hectares. These farms were operated under more than one form of tenurial status usually a combination of fully owned/ownerlike possession and another form. Other farms were tenanted with 63.1 thousand farms (16.4 percent); leased, 7.5 thousand farms (1.9 percent); and other tenurial forms such as rent-free and held under mortgage, 22.2 thousand farms (5.8 percent).

The number of farms that were fully owned/ownerlike possession increased by 8.2 percent, that is, from 146.3 thousand farms in 1991 to 158.4 thousand farms in 2002. Likewise, partly owned farms increased by 5.4 percent from 126.4 thousand farms in 1991 to 133.2 thousand farms in 2002. However, during the periods mentioned tenanted and leased farms decreased by 20.7 percent and 35.7 percent, respectively.

Main Use of the Land was For Permanent Crops
In 2002, the agricultural land of the region was utilized mostly in permanent crops, occupying 64.3 percent (573.5 thousand hectares) of the total farm area. About 26.7 percent (237.9 thousand hectares) was devoted to temporary crops. Over a period of more than a decade, the land used for permanent crops and temporary crops decreased by 5.9 percent and 14.0 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, homelot as the main use of the land showed a remarkable three-fold increase, from 4.1 thousand hectares in 1991 to 12.1 thousand hectares in 2002. Although these farms were primary used as residence of the agricultural operator, these might have been utilized in agricultural activities such as raising of chicken, backyard gardening, etc.

Furthermore, about 7.7 percent (68.4 thousand hectares) of the regionís total farm area was used for other purposes such as permanent meadows and pastures with 5.1 percent (45.5 thousand hectares), temporary meadows and pastures with 1.0 percent (8.6 thousand hectares), and temporarily fallowed with 0.8 percent (6.9 thousand hectares).

Palay was the Major Temporary Crop of the Region
Palay, which was grown in 250.0 thousand hectares as reported by 163.5 thousand farms, was the major temporary crop of the region in 2002. This is despite the 15.3 percent reduction in the area devoted to palay, from 295.0 thousand hectares in 1991. The next major temporary crop was corn, covering 66.2 thousand hectares in 63.9 thousand farms. Other major temporary crops planted in the region were tubers, roots and bulbs (27.8 thousand hectares), sugarcane (5.7 thousand hectares), and fruit bearing vegetables (5.4 thousand hectares).

Across provinces, palay was consistently the top major temporary crop except in Masbate. In 2002, about 46.9 percent (117.2 thousand hectares) of the total area planted with palay was in Camarines Sur and 15.5 percent (38.7 thousand hectares) in Albay. Similar pattern was observed in 1991.

Coconut Remained the Major Permanent Crop
Coconut remained the major permanent crop in the region with 54.0 million trees as reported by 277.2 thousand farms despite the decrease in the number of coconut trees by about 3.2 percent, from a total of 55.9 million trees in 1991. Pineapple ranked second with 28.5 million hills planted in 18.6 thousand farms.

The next most important crop in the region was abaca numbering to 27.3 million hills in 26.9 thousand farms, an increase of about 11.9 percent from 1991. Other important permanent crops in the region were banana and mango with 11.1 million hills and 1.8 million trees, respectively.

Pineapple was predominantly planted in Camarines Norte and abaca in Catanduanes while the rest of the provinces were devoted to coconut plantation. In 1991, in terms of area planted, pineapple was also one of the major crops in Camarines Norte, Catanduanes and Sorsogon.

National Irrigation System was Popular in the Region
In Bicol Region, irrigation is a vital means for increasing the production of agricultural crops.

About 138.0 thousand farms with a combined area of 217.1 thousand hectares had an irrigation system in 2002. In terms of the number of farms, national system of irrigation was popular in 2002, which supplied water to 43.5 thousand farms with an irrigated farm area of 43.8 thousand hectares. Communal irrigation system was the next common system, which supplied water to 41.2 thousand farms with a total irrigated area of 50.0 thousand hectares. Next was the individual system of irrigation which covered 85.9 thousand hectares of land.

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