EXISTING MAJOR AGRICULTURE CROPS BY AREAS, PRODUCTION AND MARKET
There are fourteen (14) barangays devoted to rice production with total aggregate area of 439.45 hectares broken down into irrigated areas with an area of 292.45 hectares, and volume of production of 1,284.01 metric tons, rainfed areas with a total of 144.50 hectares producing a volume of 500.99 metric tons, and upland area of 2.50 hectares and production volume of 5.93 metric tons. The over-all rice production of the municipality totaled to 1,790.93 metric tons. Majority of the produce goes to the local market.
In addition to rice; other crops such as yellow and white corn are produced in seven (7) barangays with a total area of 21 hectares and a production of 40.32 metric tons. Different varieties of vegetables are also produced in some barangays of the municipality with area of about 76 hectares and 623 metric tons volume of production. Pineapple as the banner crop of the province has 7 barangays as the production site. Its total production has a volume of 690 metric tons planted in the total area of 46 hectares. Root crops on the other hand are planted mostly in 18 barangays with a total area of 183.3 hectares and about 1194 metric tons volume of production. Pili, another banner crop of the Bicol Region, is mostly planted in coastal and island barangays with an area of 134.75 hectares. Its volume of production is 264.5 metric tons. Almost all the other crops are marketed to cater the local market.
COMPARATIVE AGRICULTURAL CROPS AREAS AND PRODUCTION
Comparative analysis of crop areas and production for the year 2009 to 2011 shows the following indicators. Rice has the total production area of 441.45 hectares for 2009 and a production volume of 1561.81 metric tons. The production area for the year 2010 totaled to 439.45 hectares with a total production of 1,790.93 metric tons. It shows a two-hectare decrease in area but 229.12 metric tons increase in volume of production, respectively. Comparatively, there was 2 hectares decrease in the area planted from 439.45 hectares in 2010 to 437.45 hectares in 2011 but 67.68 metric tons increase for 2010 to 2011.
Corn production on the other hand has a total production area of 11.5 hectares for the year 2009 and 21 hectares for 2010 showing an increase in area of about 9.5 hectares and a corresponding 11.3 metric tons production level for 2009 and 40.32 metric tons for 2010 resulting to a 29.02 metric tons increase in production level. Yellow Corn is mostly planted in Barangays Cayucyucan, Gaboc, Hinipaan, Mambungalon and Pambuhan; while Barangays Caringo, Del Rosario and Pambuhan chose to plant the white corn variety.
With regard to coconut, although the Municipal Agriculture Office has no record of the volume of production their records on areas planted with coconut show that coconut is mostly found in 19 barangays considered agricultural having a total area of 5,924.2 hectares in year 2009. Data of the Philippine Coconut Authority on Coconut Statistics of the province in Year 2012 was recorded at 7,590 hectares with 935 coconut farmers. The number of coconut trees was totaled at 657,573 with 573,118 bearing trees and 84,455 non-bearing trees. (Table 82)
Vegetable production for year 2009 on the other hand shows 618.75 metric tons planted in 88.76 hectares. Comparing this to the 2010 production, it shows an increase of 4.5 metric tons although there was 12.76 hectares decrease in the production area.
Pineapple production was planted in eight barangays for year 2009 with a total production area of 53 hectares. This was decreased to 46 hectares in year 2010 planted to only seven barangays. Volume of production shows an increase of 321.56 metric tons from 368.44 metric tons in 2009 to 690 metric tons in year 2010.
Regarding root crops, an increase in production area was observed for the two consecutive years, the number of barangays engaged in root crops also increased from 10 barangays in 2009 to 18 barangays in 2010. The production area totaled to 82 hectares for 2009 and 183.3 hectares for 2010, showing an increase of 1.3 hectares. Production level on the other hand has 819.10 metric tons for 2009 and 1,193.94 metric tons for 2010 or an increase of about 375 metric tons.
Pili production on the other hand, thrived in 15 barangays with a total area of 137.25 hectares for 2009 and was decreased to 134.75 in year 2010. Although there was a decrease in the production area, increase in the volume of production for pili from year 2009 to 2010 was recorded at 28 metric tons having a total production of 236.50 metric tons in 2009 and 264.50 metric tons in 2010, respectively.
EXISTING LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY FARMS
Farmers also ventured in livestock and poultry production. There are two (2) commercial piggery in the municipality located at Barangay Del Rosario and Masalongsalong which occupy an area of 200 square meters and 100 square meters, respectively and altogether with a production of 60 heads. Also, there is a backyard piggery in Barangay Tarum occupying an area of around 50 square meters and maintains 10 heads. Backyard cattle raising is practiced in almost all of the coastal barangays but most of them are used as draft animals.
For poultry, there are two (2) commercial poultry farm in the municipality located at Barangay Gaboc with a total area of 2,825.82 square meters and with around 12,350 heads per harvest four times a year.
EXISTING FISHING GROUNDS AND AQUACULTURE PRODUCTION
Being a coastal municipality, Mercedes has valuable sources of fishing grounds such as sea, river, marsh, stream, fishpond and fishcage. The sea is the widely used fishing ground in almost all barangays wherein around 98% of households engaged in fishing utilized this fishing ground. It is estimated that the production volume of fish catch is around 2,023 metric tons in a year with a production value of ₱ 202,393,000.00. Most of the produced/fish catch are marketed both locally and outside the municipality.
REGISTERED FISHER FOLD AND FISHING VESSELS
The Municipal Agriculture Office has a master list of fisher folks and fishing vessels in the municipality. Table 85 below shows that in the 26 barangays of the municipality the total number of registered fisherfolk is 4,056 wherein 2,819 are male and 1,237 are female.
The master list of registered Fishing Vessels is also shown in Table 86. There are 841 fishing vessels registered through the BOAT R being conducted by the MAO.
VOLUME OF PRODUCT BY FOREST CONCENSSIONAIRE
Based on the information from CENRO/PENRO, there is no forest concessionaire in the municipality of Mercedes.
EXISTING AGRICULTURAL SUPPORT, FACILITIES AND SERVICES
In support to agriculture and fishery industry, there are a number of post-harvest and agricultural facilities services in the different production sites in the municipality.
Agricultural facilities existing were milling facilities for rice production areas with a total of 9 units, multi-purpose drying pavement with 11 units located in 9 barangays. There is also a market centers/food terminals located in the poblacion and Barangay Pambuhan although they are currently not operational. Barangay Masalongsalong is maintaining a PHF with warehouse and drying pavement. There are also flatbed dryers in Barangays Manguisoc, Pambuhan, Matoogtoog and Colasi. Other agricultural support facilities were rain shelter in Barangay Del Rosario, Small Water Impounding Structure in Manguisoc-Mambungalon area, palay shed and seed cleaner in Barangay Matoogtoog, Corn Sheller in Barangay Pambuhan, PISOS, SFR, Diversion Dam and Irrigation facilities.
For fishery sector, the Municipal fishport located at Barangay 5 cater to the needs of the fishing and fishery-related activities. There are also two (2) privately-owned cold storage facilities located in the poblacion providing support to the fish traders and fish processors in the municipality. Fishery establishments in the poblacion are mostly fish processors operating in small scale and are sometimes seasonal.
MAJOR AND MINOR AGRICULTURAL OCCUPATIONS GROUPS IN URBAN AND RURAL AREAS
The major and minor agricultural occupations in Mercedes, being both a farming and fishing municipality, are comprised of farming occupations such as coconut, rice/palay, corn, vegetable, rootcrops, abaca, tiger grass, copra, banana, and pineapple farmers with a total of 1,943 farmers; and fishing-related occupations such as crablets and fish dealers, fishermen, crab/fish cultivators, fish processors, fish brokers and minor aquatic products gatherer, with a total of 3,796 fisherfolks. There are also hog raisers, poultry and livestock farmers. Almost 63.5% of the total population engaged in agricultural occupations are fishermen and the remaining 36.5% are divided to other agricultural occupations.
“Mercedes is a world class tourism hub and a key player for the production of renewable energy in Camarines Norte and the Center of Excellence for Fisheries in the Bicol Region where god-loving, empowered and health citizenry are living in a preserved and protected natural environment, with well-planned and functional infrastructure, and a vibrant economy under a dynamic and transparent leadership where everyone adheres to the principles of sustainable development.”