Capitol, Abono target 3,000 hectares for corn

LINGAYEN–Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. led the launching of the “Plant Now-Pay Later” program and the inauguration of a flatbed dryer and palay shed on November 26 in Barangay Manlilion in San Nicolas town.

The project, a component of the Pangasinan Corn Production Program, is a collaborative effort between the provincial government and the ABONO Party-list in coordination with the Department of Agriculture (DA), the National Agri-Business Corporation, National Federation of Hog Farmers Incorporation, local government units (LGUs) and corn farmers of Pangasinan.

Its main objective is to increase the yield of the marginalized farmers and lessen post-harvest losses.

The governor urged all Pangasinan farmers to work harder and support the government crusade to bolster agriculture production.

Meanwhile, Dr. Valentino Perdido, officer-in-charge Regional Executive Director of DA, noted that Pangasinan produces high quality corn.

He also said that the national government has no problem with the implementation of the corn production program because the provincial government is already working hard at it.

“These post-harvest facilities that we are turning over to the farmers are of great help and big relief to the marginalized farm-folks because they are now assured of an increase production and less losses,” Perdido said.

The flatbed dryer, costing P100,000, is a project grant of the DA.

On the other hand, the corn production program loan package worth P21,000 includes 40 kilos corn seeds and sets of fertilizers.

Some 21 towns, clustered as corn areas will benefit from the project which has a total cost of P60M if multiplied by 3,000 hectares (total target area for corn production).

The 21 clustered corn areas are the towns of San Nicolas, Sta. Maria, Balungao, Rosales, Asingan, Alcala, Bautista, Sto. Tomas, Villasis, Binalonan, Pozorrubio, Laoac, Sison, San Jacinto, San Fabian, Mangaldan, Manaoag,Bayambang, Malasiqui and the cities of Urdaneta and San Carlos.

Expected average yield, according to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, is estimated at seven tons per hectare.

Under the Espino administration, several projects to bolster corn production are being implemented.

Among these are the Maisan sa Barangay, infrastructure projects, production support such as provision of fertilizers, technology transfer which allows every farmer to undergo training, livelihood and credit assistance through loan assistance for alternative income generating activities.

For the past three years, yellow corn production of the province posted an average yield increase of 11.16% while white corn yield has registered a sharp 14.49% increase.

The average yield performance of yellow corn reached 5.59 metric tons per hectare (MT/ha) with an annual yield increment of 3.03%. This represents a 68.24% average share contribution of Pangasinan to the regional yield in three years and 4.95% average share to the country’s production in 2010 to 2012.

For white corn production, Pangasinan posted an average production of 19,392.7 metric tons in an average area of 6,100 hectares with an average yield of 3.2 MT/ha.

Pangasinan contributes about 36.8% to the regional production and 0.7% to the country’s production.

Pangasinan bagged the 2013 national Corn Achiever Award.

Board Member Ranjit R. Shahani commended the governor for focusing his priorities on the primary source of livelihood of most Pangasinenses which is farming.

Shahani said that under the leadership of Gov. Espino, Pangasinan is now being recognized in the country as one of the premier provinces in various developmental aspects.

Also present during the turnover ceremony was Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, Jr. and former San Nicolas Mayor Leoncio Saldivar III. (PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)

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