The local office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said they are now fast-tracking the introduction of the rice-corn blend this year to the commercial market to become part of the country’s common diet.
The latest agricultural crop enterprise would also cover the shortage of grains, which often results to importation.
Leonardo Enriquez of the Agricultural Production Coordinating Office (APCO) of the DA said the admix will also assist in increasing opportunities to corn farmers, who have been longing for the government to make their crop as one of the centerpieces of its agricultural development targets.
“Magandang balita para sa ating mga corn farmers ito. Maliban sa healthy ito, ay na-address yung ano man na shortage ng rice,” he said.
Enriquez disclosed that corn farmers are often disheartened to continue planting the crop because of the low buying spree that continues to persist in the market.
“Na-discourage ang farmer kasi kinokompra lang ng mura” said Enriquez.
With the eventual introduction of the rice-corn blend, he said corn farmers in the province will be encouraged to plant and raise corn because of the anticipated increase in demand.
Enriquez stated that within the year the rice-corn blend will be made available in National Food Authority (NFA) outlets in Metro Manila and in major supermarkets. It will be lower than the average retail price of rice which is at P35-P36 per kilo.
The DA will ensure the availability of quality corn seeds and provide training, farm mechanization equipment, and post-harvest facilities to assist the farmers, Enriquez added.
The government, he added, is promoting the rice-corn blend as a healthy food because corn has a lower calorie and carbohydrate content compared to rice.
People, especially in Visayas and Mindanao provinces, ate corn grits as staple food next to rice. World boxing champion, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Enriquez said, was among those who ate corn grits as staple food.