SoCot town wants a Guinness for longest grilled corn

Banga will host the second National Corn Congress on March 1-3, and it is during this event that the sleepy town of 76,000 people will attempt a Guinness record. It would be the town’s second corn festival, coinciding with the town’s week-long celebration of the town’s 66th foundation day.

Last year’s corn congress was held in Dagupan City in Pangasinan, where Banga officials won the bidding to host this year’s event. During this meeting, The forthcoming event will also be “First Mindanao Corn Farmers’ Congress.”

Janita said residents will be simultaneously grilling corn over a six-kilometer stretch of road, overshadowing the previous national record of 300 meters in the municipality of Upi, Maguindanao.

The mayor boasted that his town is the “Corn Capital of the Philippines,” a title that has yet to be acted upon by Congress. Banga’s average yield is 25,600 metric tons per cropping season, or a yearly harvest of 76,800 MT.

Records show that 61 percent of the town’s 24,034 hectares is planted to corn, 28 percent to rice and 11 percent to high value crops such as asparagus and papaya.

Janita said that his research confirmed that Banga was the top corn producing town in the country in the 1960s. “At the time, our municipality was producing 850 metric tons yearly,” he claimed.

The upcoming corn congress, with an expected participant of 1,000 people, will be a big gathering for players in the corn industry, who will discuss measures to increase productivity, said Abusama Alid, Department of Agriculture-Central Mindanao executive director.

He said they have invited President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap and all the regional DA directors in the country to attend the affair.

Alid said nine hybrid seed companies will attend the congress, among them biggies like Monsanto and Pioneer. They will be competing for the “best hybrid corn of the year” contest, he added.