Lino Ambag, a hardworking farmer in Panaon, Misamis Occidental, became a beneficiary of the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program in 2020. As one of the 200 members of the Panaon SAAD Farmer’s Association, he received the Corn Production Project.
Before SAAD, Mr. Ambag shared the hardships his family faced. There were days they were unable to sustain their farm because they didn’t have money to buy inputs like fertilizers, seeds, and garden tools. He had to jump from tilling his land to laboring in other people’s farms just to make ends meet and provide for his children’s education.
Mr. Ambag was granted with Php 20,177 worth of agricultural inputs – 9 kilograms (kg) of Open-Pollinated Variety (OPV) corn seeds, 9 bags of inorganic fertilizer, 20 bags of organic fertilizer, a water drum, and garden tools set (light hoe, shovel, sprinkler, and weeding bolo).
In January 2020, he planted the corn seeds in his 0.5-hectare land area.
After four months, he gathered 600kg of corn harvest of which 280kg were sold at Php 20/kg, giving him earnings of Php 5,600.
Following his next harvest, he had a gross income of Php 9,000 from selling 450kg of corn at Php 20/kg.
In his May to August 2021 cropping, he earned Php 18,600 for 600kg corn sold at Php 31/kg.
Since OPV seeds can be replanted, he saved 10kg each harvest to continue his corn production. OPV seeds can be reused for a maximum of three seasons without significant yield loss.
From his first to third cropping, he already had Php 33,200 revenue from selling milled corn in sari-sari stores and houses (Table 1).
Mr. Ambag shared that he preferred to sell the corn milled at Php 20-31/kg compared to grain at Php 8/kg. He did not market all harvest because he set aside for family consumption.
Table 1. Mr. Ambag’s Corn Production Income
|Date Planted||Date of Harvest||Volume of Harvest
|Total Volume Sold
|May 20, 2021||August 20, 2021||600||20.00||280||5,600.00|
|September 20, 2021||December 20, 2021||650||20.00||450||9,000.00|
|May 21, 2021||August 21, 2021||1000||31.00||600||18,600.00|
Problems Encountered and Solutions Made
During his cropping seasons, Mr. Ambag’s farm was attacked with a dreaded pest, the Fall Armyworms (FAW) which migrate from place to place, feeding on the leaves, stems, and the reproductive parts of more than 100 plant species causing major damage to the crops.
FAW cannot be easily detected unless the field has a history of infestation or the growers pay close attention to the timeliness of the crop’s planting season.
Early detection of the infestation will allow more effective pest control. One of which is by looking at the corn’s stem and checking if it has deteriorated. It can be treated fast using pesticide or organic ingredients as an alternative way.
Mr. Ambag detected the FAW earlier, so he immediately reported to the Provincial Operations Center (POC) in Misamis Occidental and was given free pesticides from the Municipal Agriculture Office of Panaon.
This year, the SAAD Program has committed to Panaon farmers, including Mr. Ambag, additional OPV white corn seeds as well as organic and inorganic fertilizers. With the additional inputs, Mr. Ambag will expand his corn plantation to another 0.5ha.
Although he already stored 10kg of corn seeds from his last harvest, he plans to wait for the inputs to be distributed in October before planting again.
His income from the previous production cycles will also be used to sustain his farm and continue his livelihood beyond the years.
Writer: Ruth Esther Bermundo, SAAD Region 10 Information Officer