The Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) of Bataraza sees the town’s potential to enhance its corn harvest as growers generate good yields and customers from outside the province of Palawan indicate an interest in purchasing their products.
According to Virginia Genilan, municipal agriculturist, Bataraza farmers produce at least eight tons per hectare in one cropping, and the hybrid variety of their corn adds to the rise in productivity.
The Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC), a feed maker, also began its commitment to local farmers in 2020, allowing them to have a corn market, she said.
“Maganda ang Bataraza sa corn production. ‘Yun nga lang, noong una ay huminto ang farmers gawa ng walang market, mahirap ang market. Noong pumasok na ‘yong hybrid corn, may market na pumasok like SIDC, medyo gumanda ang presyo ng mais, medyo tumaas-taas kaunti. Halos nagbalikan na naman ang farmers natin sa corn production, meron na naman kaming market,” Genilan said.
“Nag-stop din ang farmers noon gawa ng mura ang presyo ng mais. Mahal ang inputs dahil wala tayong market pero noong pumasok ang SIDC, medyo sumigla-sigla na naman kaunti ang areas na pwede na taniman ng corn,” she added.
The SIDC is also a partner of the Palawan Swine Producers Association (PSPA) in their meat store initiative, which helps to assure a steady supply of inexpensive feeds. The meat shop is located within the Kadiwa Center of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
She also noted some of the issues that local farmers confront, such as agricultural input and the machinery required for field preparation.
The activation of the feed mill in Aborlan would also aid in the enhancement of corn output, she said.
“Choice na lang ng farmer ‘yon, hindi naman kasi tumigil (ang corn industry). Ngayon na may market na, marami na ang magtatanim, magbabalik uli na farmer,” she said.
Genilan said the corn sector may assist farmers make additional money apart from unhusked rice or palay while they wait for the next rice crop.
“Malaking tulong sa ating farmers ang corn, ang planting ng corn, start siya ng April which is hindi na panahon ng palay. Unang patak ng ulan either April or May, nagtatanim na ‘yong farmers ng mais so ha-harvest sila ng July o August, iyon naman ay mag-start sila magtanim ng palay,” she said.