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SAAD-assisted Siquijor FA endeavors mechanized corn production

SIQUIJOR, March 27, 2023 – With the goal of mechanization to promote efficient production, the Department of Agriculture- Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Central Visayas granted one (1) unit of corn mill worth Php 630,000.00 to Hugpong sa Makugihong Magbabaol sa Cang-asa Farmers’ Association (FA) in Siquijor.

The awarding was attended by FA members who will serve as operators of said equipment, who also observed a machine demonstration spearheaded by the DA Regional Agriculture and Engineering Division, in Barangay Cang-asa, Siquijor, Siquijor on January 20, 2023.

The FA endures production cost loss when traveling to neighboring areas just to avail of milling service. The trip takes around 20 to 30 minutes, and costs Php 100 to 150 fare per trip just to reach the nearby barangay, in addition to the milling service itself which usually costs around Php 3.00 per kilogram.

The Hugpong sa Makugihong Magbabaol sa Cang-asa is a group composed of 50 low-income corn farmers organized in 2018 and registered in 2019 through the help of the local government unit of Siquijor and the SAAD Siquijor staff.

Upon getting short-listed in 2018 the group later then received Corn-Peanut Production Project under FY 2018 and FY 2019 funding. They received the following projects: FY 2018 Corn-Peanut Production, FY 2019 Corn-Peanut Production with Corn Sheller and Knapsack Sprayer with Vegetable, FY 2020 Corn-Peanut Production, FY 2021 Support to Corn-Peanut Production, and FY 2022 Corn-Peanut Production and Processing.

The corn crop was given to further boost the corn production in the community of Cang-asa. The peanut was a complementary crop typically given the second crop cycle to balance the soil condition and prevent soil exhaustion. This crop mainly aims to give the FA other sources of income.

Mechanization’s role in establishing community-based enterprise
The acquisition of the corn mill reduces the production cost, boosts efficiency in postharvest, and is an additional source of income for the FA.

In 2021, the group headed by Mr. Glen started the idea of creating a corn by-product such as a corn-based brewed drink that followed the natural coffee brewing process, with naturally infused additional flavors like ginger and turmeric. 

The FA established a connection with their local markets like neighboring sari-sari (general merchandise) stores that allowed their products to be displayed in the physical outlets. Now, their products are available in different stores in Barangay Cang-Asa, in a restaurant in Barangay Cantaboan, Lazi, and in a guest house in Barangay Pangi, Siquijor.

Steps toward CBE
The association will continue the production they currently partake in their three (3) hectare land of corn and peanuts. Further, the FA will purposefully continue to offer milling services for additional income for the association. 

For continuous improvement and innovation, the FA has been linked to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the improvement of their labeling and packaging necessary for the marketing aspect of the products.###

Writer: Jolina Daño, DA-SAAD Central Visayas, Information Officer

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