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Corn-tastic yield: ZDN farmers earn Php 28K in three months of growing sweet corn

ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, February 22, 2024 – In the bucolic town of Rizal, Zamboanga del Norte, the Sipaon Farmers’ Association (FA) with 30 members made a sweet deal, raking in Php 28,332 from 1,123 kilograms of freshly plucked corn from their one-hectare communal farm over two harvests from October to December 2023. 

Sipaon FA is a beneficiary of the FY 2023 Sweet Corn Production Project worth Php 1, 701,000 from the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Phase 2. 

They received 90 bags of corn seeds, 90 bags of inorganic fertilizers, 20 pieces of insecticides, and some farm tools including 10 units wheelbarrow, 30 units plastic crates, 10 units knapsack sprayers, and 10 units of plastic drums. Before the interventions were distributed, a technical training on corn production management was conducted.

Sipaon FA President Richard Tormis said they planted sweet corn in their communal garden during their first cropping on October 14 last year. The crops were harvested and marketed from December 20-31, giving the group earnings worth Php 16,280. For the second cropping, the group earned Php 12,052 from selling 496 kilos of sweet corn. The harvest was sold per kilo at two different prices based on the classification of the sweet corn – Class A is sold at Php 33 while class B is at Php 25.

Tormis recognized the importance of combining hard work and perseverance to sustain a project. 

Makaingon gyud ko nga ang amoang grupo ga-tinabangay ug ga paniguro nga molahutay ni nga proyekto gikan sa SAAD, kay bisan pa man nga aduna mi mga responsibilidad sa among balay, maningkamot mi nga maka tambong matag Sabado para mag atiman sa area,” he said.

[I can say that our group helps one another and we strive to sustain this project from SAAD, because even though we have individual responsibilities at home, we make sure to report every Saturday to monitor the area.]

The FA follows a sustainability scheme where 40% will be saved for the association’s fund, while 60% of it will be distributed to the members, based on the attendance during their “pintakasi” where they will visit, clean and monitor the farm every Saturday. 

Since the harvest is enough for the community’s consumption, the group did not have a hard time selling the produce in their neighboring households. The group also tried selling it in the local market of Rizal but it was sold immediately.

It was noted that the group was the subject for pilot testing in market identification conducted by the program led by the National Program Management Office (NPMO). Since the association targets to expand the area to three (3) hectares, the MAED unit identified possible market outlets once the quantity of produce increases. ###

Writer: Aimee Lou D. Madjus, DA-SAAD ZamPen Information Officer

Photos: Maria Liza Miral, Rizal Area Coordinator

 

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