GUIMARAS, August 30, 2023 – For the Phase 2 pilot year, 60 farmers in San Lorenzo, Guimaras strengthened their knowledge on corn production as part of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program’s effort for farmers’ capability-building to prepare them for livelihood support.
The 5th class municipality of San Lorenzo with 15.90% poverty incidence rate based on the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) 2018 report was among the areas that met the eligibility requirements for inclusion under SAAD Program. Among the identified farmers’ associations are the Tamburong FA and San Lorenzo South Corn and Cassava FA who both underwent preparatory activities including the Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA).
The Tamburong FA are a mix of corn and vegetable growers and native chicken raisers while San Lorenzo South Corn and Cassava FA consists of farmers whose priority crops are rice, corn, cassava and sweet potato. Corn production was identified as a viable project in these areas with the variety intended for feed processing. While some of them are experienced corn growers, high yields in these areas are not guaranteed because of the sites’ unfavorable slope. During rainy days, surface runoff and pests infestation occur.
The conduct of BNA in these areas floated the need for a training on updated technologies in corn production. The training aims to familiarize/refresh the farmers with corn anatomy, proper and effective cultivation, ensuring maximum and quality of harvest for a more efficient flow of production.
Mr. Rey Genine, Agriculturist II under the Corn Program of the Department of Agriculture, served as the Training Resource Person. He discussed fundamental concepts in corn production and how these components interplay with other factors such as land area or duta, corn seeds or binhi, fertilizer or abono, agrochemicals or hiló, farm tools or gamit pangpanguma, technology or pamaagi, and market or baligyaan.
Appropriate ratio and application of fertilizers, frequent monitoring of crops as part of the measures to prevent pest infestation were also discussed. Farmers were advised to craft a monitoring report to submit to the Municipal Agriculture Office once presence of pests are seen.
Guimaras Corn Growers
Thirty (30) members of the Tamburong Farmers Association and 30 growers from the San Lorenzo South Corn and Cassava Farmers Association participated in the simultaneous localized training held at the Poblacion, Office of the Municipal Agriculture – San Lorenzo Training Hall on July 27, 2023.
Before the training, the members completed their BNA on February 22 and results showed that corn members not only exhibited willingness and interest in venturing into corn production but also have an available production area for the said crop. While some of the members are corn growers, they still raise the need for refresher training on updated and effective farming practices because of difficulties in mitigating pests infestation.
In an interview, TFA President Mr. Nestor Salido shared why his group was organized, “Ang tinutuyo sang Tamburong Farmers Association ang makaagom sang isa ka livelihood nga makuhaan sang extra income agud mabuligan ang mga ginikanan sa pagsustain sang kinahanglanon sa panimalay, labi na guid sa pagkaon.”
(The goal of Tamburong FA is to avail of a livelihood as the group’s source of extra income that can help parents sustain their needs in the household, most especially in providing food on the table.)
From May 25 to July 20, various farm tools and materials, agrochemicals, fertilizer, and conventional hybrid yellow corn seeds were then delivered to the associations as components under the FY 2023 Corn and Vegetable Production Project.
The Tamburong FA has already started cultivating their 3-hectare (ha) communal area in Brgy. Tamburong while the San Lorenzo South Corn and Cassava FA likewise prepared their 4ha communal area in barangay Cabano for corn production. The cropping system followed by the two groups comprises rice as the major crop, followed by the subsequent cultivation of corn. Since they practiced rice-corn crop rotation, they are targeting to plant the corn seeds in September after harvest of rice crops. Expected harvest is within January next year.
Resource Person Mr. Genine expressed his gratefulness towards the interest of farmers in corn production to which he said, “Indi kita makalagas sa demand sang feeds diri sa rehiyon kag 17% lang ang aton kontribusyon, nga kung sayuron, 1.4 million metric tons ang aton kinahanglan sa isa ka tuig. Amo gane, gapasalamat guid ako kay nagpakita kamo interes sa pagtanom sang mais. Sa sini inga paagi, mabuligan naton pataas ang patubas sang bilog nga rehiyon kag makacontribute kita sa supply sang mais.”
(We cannot keep up with the current demand for feeds here in the region, and we only contribute 17% in production, when in fact, we need 1.4 million metric tons each year. That is why I am thankful that you have shown interest in corn production because, through this, we can contribute to the supply of corn.)
The series of specialized training is part of the Food Production and Livelihood (FPL) component intended for Phase 2 beneficiaries who will receive crop projects this year. ###
Writer: Cedie C. Bataga, DA-SAAD Region 6 Information Officer