DA opens postharvest facility in Sarangani

Allan Javellana, president of DA's National Agribusiness Corporation(NABCOR), said the new postharvest facility, located in Poblacion ofMalungon town, is nearly complete and is expected to be ready for fulloperations by the end of the month.

He said the Malungon facility, worth at least P22 million, was one ofthe three PHPTCs earlier proposed by NABCOR for Region 12 orSouthwestern Mindanao.

NABCOR, a government-owned and controlled corporation under the directsupervision of DA, is presently operating PHPTCs in Barangay Reyes inBanga, South Cotabato and Barangay Osias in Kabacan, Cotabatoprovince.

"This was designed to ensure the continuous supply of quality corn inSarangani province and the neighboring areas and provide farmers avenue for marketing their grains," he said in a statement.

Javellana said they earlier decided to establish PHPTCs in thecountry's corn-producing provinces "to hone the production of qualityfeed and food-grade corn" and provide ready markets for them.

To facilitate the project, he said NABCOR forged joint ventureagreements with various interested and qualified partners such aslocal government units, cooperatives and industry representatives fromthe private sector in strategic priority areas all over the country.

According to a project briefer, PHPTCs are operated and managed by NABCOR as one-stop venues for the provision of technical,institutional development and market-related infrastructure assistancefor the continuous supply of quality corn to industry players.

It said these PHPTCs also serve as conduits through which corn farmersreceive technical aid on the adoption of good agricultural practices,as well as assistance on the processing and marketing of quality cornproducts.

Javellana said that as funding strategy, NABCOR assumes 75 percent ofthe project's funding requirement while its joint venture partnershoulder the remaining 25 percent.

DA earlier raised its corn production target this year from 6.264million metric tons to 6.92 million MT following the implementation ofspecial projects aimed at further enhancing the profitability of corngrowers and squarely addressing hunger woes in food-deficient areas.

It covers the implementation of the corn production enhancementproject and the hunger mitigation program, which comprise the specialinitiatives this year under the national corn program.

These projects are expected to boost corn sufficiency levels to 94.17percent this year from just 82.3 percent in 2006. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)