Corn production in Palawan is expected to step up as the Provincial Government of Palawan through is Livelihood Project Management Unit will focus on strengthening the farming and production of this high-value crop.
Dr. Myrna Ordinario-Lacanilao, Program Manager of the Livelihood Cluster under the Captiol’s I-HELP (Infrastructure, Health, Education, Livelihood and Protection of the Environment) program, said her office listed corn farming as one of their priorities to re-introduce to farmers.
This as they observed only a few are cultivating their land for corn plantation, unlike other food crops such as rice, banana and vegetable that farmers usually plant.
Lacanilao said that corn is seen to have a high potential in boosting the local agriculture industry. Aside from the fact it is considered the second most abundant cereal grown for human consumption, she said it stalks can also be used as feeds in cattle fattening.
Through the introduction of Bt corn variety, it is expected that corn farming and production in Palawan will improved as in the experience of Capitol’s demonstration farm in Brgy Iraan, Rizal.
“Record shows farmers currently harvest one to two tons per hectare, but with this kind of variety of corn it is expected they will bag seven to eight tons per hectare just like what we’ve harvested in our demo farm,” Lacanilao told Palawan News.
The demo farm, which is run under the management of LPMU Corn Program Coordinator Len Valera, was established five months ago.
In a feasibility study Valera conducted, one hectare of corn plantation will need a capital of P40,000 for a projected profit of up to P84,000. If the total cost for fertilizers, seedlings and others will be deducted, a corn farmer could possibly earn as much as P44,000.
Lacanilao said the study will be presented to Governor Alvarez for him to approve a plan on how the Capitol can help corn farmers to benefit from this livelihood. She said this may be in form of a loan just like in cacao farming they also introduced in 2014.
She added that the Capitol is also eyeing to export this high-value crop to Malaysia with the opening of seaports under the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), a sub-regional economic cooperation initiative in Southeast Asia.