Region 12 wants to be country’s top corn producer

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 15 May) – Region 12 has moved closer towards its goal to become the country’s top corn producer.

Amalia Jayag-Datukan, Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 12 director, said Thursday the region has climbed to the second spot in terms of corn production last year based on records released recently by DA’s Bureau of Agricultural Statistics.

She said the region specifically recorded a total corn production of 1,305,607 metric tons (MT) in 2013 out of its corn production area of around 440,000 hectares.

“From rank three in 2012, we’re now second in terms of corn production among 17 regions in the country,” Datukan said.

She said the region’s corn output last year represented 18.4 percent of the country’s total production and 32.5 percent of the entire Mindanao.

Cagayan Valley region topped the list with a total corn production last year of 1,713,674 MT.

The other top corn-producing regions are Northern Mindanao with 1,185,036 MT, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with 667,104 MT, Ilocos Region with 447,503 MT and Western Visayas with 345,527 MT.

In 2012, Region 12 posted a total corn production of 1,201,579 MT, which accounted for 16 percent of the country’s overall corn production performance.

Owing to such accomplishment, DA-12’s Agri-Pinoy regional corn program coordinator Zaldy Boloron said the region is dedicated and even more driven to improve on its present standing.

“In due time, we will be the top corn producer in the country,” he said.

Boloron explained that this year, the DA central office has set aside some P180.160 million for the corn program.

Such funding is 45.8 percent higher when compared with its budget of P123.426 million in 2013.

Boloran said 47 percent of the allocation was earmarked for postharvest facilities development services, which includes the establishment of village-type corn-on-cobs dryers and corn mills.

For this year, he said they are targeting a five-percent increase in the region’s corn yield or a total production of 1,368,614 MT.