By Alexander Lopez
BUTUAN CITY — Aiming to encourage farmers to venture into yellow corn production, the Department of Agriculture in Caraga Region (DA-13) hosted the first ‘Corn Derby’ this year.
Melody Guimary, DA-13 coordinator, said Wednesday the derby’s first phase was conducted on Tuesday (November 5) in Carmen, Surigao del Sur, while the second phase will be facilitated on Thursday (November 7) at Barangay Aurora in Sta. Josefa, Agusan del Sur.
Guimary said the activity also aims to help farmers attain optimum yield and higher income through the production of yellow corn.
The activity also showcased the best hybrid corn seeds and technologies of the six participating private seed companies, including Corteva Agriscience (formerly Pioneer Hybrid Phils. Inc.), Bayer Cropscience, Syngenta Phils., Bioseed Research Phils. Inc., Asian Hybrid Seed Technologies Inc., and Green & Grow Teknologies Inc.
Tuesday’s activity in Surigao del Sur was graced by DA-13 Regional Executive Director Abel James I. Monteagudo, who encouraged farmers to go into corn farming, particularly the production of yellow corn.
Monteagudo said that farmers “should make farming a profitable business because agribusiness is the way forward to increase farmer’s income.”
Around 300 corn farmers from the towns of Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen, Lanuza, Tandag City, Tago, and San Miguel joined the event.
In the upcoming corn derby in Sta. Josefa, Agusan del Sur on Thursday, Guimary said more than 300 corn farmers from the municipalities of Trento, La Paz, Loreto and Bunawan are expected to join.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, DA-13 described the activity as “a show window for the farmers to know what hybrid yellow corn seed variety suited best in their locality, considering the management practices employed by the companies versus the farmers’ practice.”
Guimary said they are encouraging the farmers to go into yellow corn farming because of its advantages compared to white corn in terms of production and income. “Demand for yellow corn in the market is also very high as it is one of the main ingredients of livestock feeds,” she said.
Caraga is among the regions in the country that attained increased corn production last year, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority said.
In 2018, Caraga had a total corn production of 135,627 metric tons, or a 13 percent increase compared to 119,980 metric tons of production in 2017.
Guimary expressed optimism of increased production this year with the continued support program of the government to corn farmers in the region. (PNA)