DA, SoCot unveil P22.8-M modern corn plant in Banga
Banga, South Cotabato (3 April) -- Calling it an essential part of the corn industry's full modernization, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap launched here earlier this month a P22.8 million worth corn postharvest, processing and trading center.
The facility is the second project completed in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao under the Department of Agricultures Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) corn program.
The project was a joint initiative of provincial government of South Cotabato, Banga municipal government and DA's National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor).
The blessing and inauguration of the corn facility was also graced by GMA National Corn Program Coordination Dennis Araullo, South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-fuentes, Mayor Isidro Janita, Nabcor President Allan Javellana and DA Region 12 Director Abusama Alid.
The construction of the said facility started last year after the Sangguniang Panlalawigan authorized the provincial government to enter into a memorandum of agreement with Nabcor.
It also approved an allocation of P5 million for the project.
Fuentes explained that the joint venture with Nabcor is envisioned to contribute greatly to the development of the corn industry in the province and enchance the socio-economic well-being of corn farmers in the area.
She said Nabcor recognized that the development of the corn sector will help corn farmers in the province, local corn processors and related industries such as the poultry and livestock sector and other food industries that utilize corn.
The launching of the facility coincided with the first Mindanao Corn Congress, which gathered corn industry stakeholders from various parts of Mindanao as well as some parts of Luzon and Visayas.
"The DA family supports this pioneering event that gathers various stakeholders to unify efforts in solidifying the island's distinction as the country's top corn producer," Yap said in his speech during the opening of congress.
In 2006 alone, Yap cited that Mindanao, bannered by South Cotabato and Bukidnon provinces, produced 56 percent of the country's total harvest of 6.08 million metric tons.
Yap challenged corn industry stakeholders in Mindanao saying it has all the needed resources to sustain the lead in terms of the corn output.
He said such lead should also propel the island's livestock and poultry sector to greater heights.
"With your huge comparative advantage being free from both FMD (Foot and Mouth Disease) and avian flu, and the sustained supply of corn, Mindanao could be a major player in the meat export market in the Asia-Pacific region," he added. (TBB/PIA 12) [top]