Agriculture Assistant Secretary Dennis Araullo disclosed that the DA is helping establish 15 corn postharvest processing and trading centers across the country this year through the National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor).
Araullo explained that the move is part of DA initiatives to raise rural incomes and increase corn production by establishing market linkages and reducing postproduction losses for corn farmers.
He said that aside from Maayon town, the other priority areas include Kabankalan in Negros Occidental, Kapatagan in Lanao del Norte, Pangantucan in Bukidnon, Claveria in Misamis Oriental, Tabuk in Kalinga, Sablayan in Mindoro, Bayambang in Pangasinan, Mexico in Pampanga, and Dumalinao in Zamboanga del Sur.
He added that another five locations are also being considered in Narra and Brooke’s Point in Palawan, Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay, Tigaon in Camarines Sur, and Gamu in Isabela.
Araullo noted that investing in corn centers is part of the policy overhaul being carried out by the DA, which focuses funding on hard or “big-ticket” projects covering irrigation maintenance, postharvest facilities, farm-to-market roads (FMRs) and rural extension work, in lieu of “soft” projects like fertilizer support to farmers.
The corn postharvest processing and trading center project is among the priority initiatives of the DA because corn is the second most important crop in the Philippines, where 20% of its arable is planted to the grain, he said.
Meanwhile, Araullo revealed that 15 corn centers, which are already up for completion this February, are strategically located within the GMA Corn Program cluster areas.
Of said corn postharvest centers, seven are located in Luzon, two in the Visayas and six in Mindanao.
In the Visayas, said corn facilities are situated in Sagay City in Negros Occidental and in Sara, Iloilo.
by: by Jemin B. Guillermo (DA/PIA)
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