Sto. Tomas bags National Quality Corn Achievers Award

STO. TOMAS—This town was presented the National Quality Corn Achievers Award (Municipal level) during the 13th National Corn Congress on Nov. 23 at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City.

The local government led by Mayor Timoteo Villar III received a plaque with P1-million prize for projects to further boost corn production.

Maiz (corn) is Sto. Tomas’ ‘One-Town, One-Product’ that earned for it a Guinness world title in 2008 for its Longest Barbecue when townsfolk set up its 3,803.96 meters long barbecue grilling its white glutinous corn using 93, 540 corn ears.

Crisanto Balila, municipal agriculturist, said this was the first time their town joined the search.

The other Pangasinan town that received the award was Alcala.

The provincial government also received its National Corn Achievers (Provincial category) award and received P3-million prize and plaque. It was the province’s fourth award.

Balila said the town’s 790 hectares of farmland planted to corn has a corn yield of 6.5 metric tons per hectare of high quality.

“We have food agricultural practices and the major driving force here is the support of the local government under Mayor Villar to corn programs,” Balila said.

The P1-million prize will be used for the enhancement of corn production, more inputs like seeds, fertilizer or farm machineries based on their submitted proposal, Balila added.

The town primarily produces yellow corn used for animal feeds. These are planted from December to March and it takes about four months before they are harvested.

There are also white corn planted from January to February and is harvested earlier at 60 to 70 days, Balila said.

A farmer here normally spends P50,000 per hectare for corn production but the income is doubled during harvest when price is good, Balila said. (Eva Visperas)