White corn seed production ongoing

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Thursday, May 26, 2011


A SEED production program for low-glycemic white corn is ongoing to enhance food security and help reduce diabetes incidence.

This as the Department of Agriculture noted that as a staple food of about 20 percent of the population especially in Visayas and Mindanao, “white corn is seen to further capture a wider market with its many health benefits especially when compared to the country’s staple, which is rice.”

Unlike rice, white corn has low glycemic index (GI), which makes white corn slower to digest thereby releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, thus lessening the risk of diabetes, it added.

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The DA is funding the seed production of white corn and plans to sustain this on a yearly basis.

The Institute of Plant Breeding-University of the Philippines in Los Baños, which is producing the seed, is propagating the high-yielding IPB Var 6, which gives a yield that is nearly comparable to commercial white corn hybrid, the DA reported.

“Based on the national corn testing, the yield of IPB Var 6 in Luzon was at an average of 5.84 metric tons (MT) per hectare; in Visayas, 5.45 MT per hectare and in Mindanao, 4.47 MT per hectare.”

Under Phase I, DA released P15 million for the seed production program where 10,000 bags (at 18 kilos per bag) were produced. Another P25M was allotted for the Phase II, which is good for about 22,000 bags.

Half these seeds have already been distributed to the regional DA offices. Under the proposed program for a continuing seed production, DA will also allocate P7 million yearly over the next five years. "This will lessen demand for rice. Just by increasing the demand for corn, which can be grown productively and cheaply, we would no longer have to import rice.” (CGC)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 26, 2011.

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