DA pushes for corn farmers' clustering

DA pushes for corn farmers' clustering
Photo from PIA

Davao City -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Davao del Sur is pushing for the clustering of corn farmers to enable them to command higher prices for their products.

DA regional corn program coordinator Lorenzo Bermillo said corn is the second most important crop in the country, as 15 percent of the overall population in the country, especially in Visayas and Mindanao, consumes it.

He said that grouping the corn farmers into one entity guarantees not only high prices of their commodity but also availing of other programs and inputs from the DA.

He said the corn farmers should group themselves to ensure that they will have bargaining power, especially in haggling for the prices of corn and other products.

“The price of corn, either white or yellow, varies depending on the wetness and dryness. The wet ones are priced at P15 per kilogram while the dry ones cost P17.00 per kilogram,” he said, adding that the market price of white corn is P40.00 a kilogram.

Bermillo said the white corn serves as our staple food while the yellow corn serves as feed for the livestock.

He said that under the corn program, which covers white and yellow corn, there are also subprograms on cassava, sorghum, and soybeans.

Bermillo said cassava, sorghum, and soybeans are components of the feed.

“Dako gyud unta ang posibilidad nga modako ang atong income tungod niining mga corn subprograms sama sa cassava, sorghum ug soybeans. Sa soya milk, pa lang daan, moabot kita sa 95 percent to 97 percent sa soya milk importation pa lang nga isagol sa atong mga animal feeds. Usa sa katuyuan sa atong corn program nga masuportahan ang atong mga farmers aron mosaka ang ilang kita,” he said.

(There is a great possibility that the income of corn farmers will increase because of the subprograms of cassava, sorghum, and soybeans. Take, for instance, the soya milk alone, 95 to 97 percent of soya milk importation is needed in the mixture for animal feed. One objective of our corn program is to support our corn farmers to increase their income.)

Bermillo said dealing with corn farmers in groups will also guarantee that the plans of the DA XI for the farmers in mitigating the El Niño phenomenon will be realized as an additional source of water.

“Dili mi angayan magtarget daan og beneficiaries tungod kay dunay grupo sa mga mag-uuma sa mais nga nagconvert sa ilang tanaman ug rice, tungod sa kadaghang water sources,” he added.

(It is not good that we define the beneficiaries first because they might convert their corn plantation to rice plantation because of the many sources of water.)

Bermillo suggested that all corn farmers register first in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture.

“The RSBSA is a registry of farmers, fisherfolk, and farm laborers that serves as a targeting mechanism for identification of beneficiaries for different agriculture-related programs and services of the government,” he said.

Bermillo said that a registrant must be a Filipino citizen, 18 years old at the time of registration, and must be a farmer, farm laborer/ worker, fisherfolk, and agri-youth.

He said the corn farmers may first coordinate with the agricultural technician, who will bring them to the Municipal Agriculture Officer for registration with the RSBSA. (JSGD/ PIA Davao del Sur)

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