In this file photo from the Department of Agriculture, a farmer can be seen tending to his corn farm.

The Provincial Board expressed support for the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) corn industry roadmap, a developing agricultural plan that aims to ramp up the country’s local corn production.

The roadmap is currently in the planning stage with farmers and industry stakeholders, according to a presser by the DA dated September 4.

The resolution explained that the roadmap also supports other sectors that will also benefit from improving the country’s corn industry. The industry was also cited as crucial to livestock farmers, aside from being an important raw material for food products.

“The roadmap will address the industry’s major challenges, such as the much-needed investment in farm operations, to raise productivity, as well as the set-up of postharvest facilities to maximize wastage and reduce cost of storage, as well as provide logistical support,” said the resolution co-authored by the members of the provincial board with Board Member Cesareo Benedito.

Some measures being sought by the DA include increasing the department’s budget in order to realize the roadmap’s goals. Private sector stakeholders, such as seed producers, feed millers, and commercial feed manufacturers, are also being urged by the DA to enter into joint ventures with corn farmers.

DA Sec. William Dar stated in the presser that the roadmap is expected to be done by the end of September 2021.

“The corn sector, being a major input to the poultry and swine industries, should be given more importance and long-term view to ensure its sustained contribution to the meat value chain and, in general, to the Philippine food systems,” Dar was quoted to have said.

Corn production in Palawan, particularly in Narra, was previously cited by provincial agriculturist Dr. Romeo Cabungcal as being one of the most promising industries for the town. This was in terms of production and pricing of products coming from the town. Narra also holds the biggest corn plantation in the province at 150-hectares in Barangay Aramaywan.