Corn farmers avail of government subsidy
by PS Mabaquiao
San Jose, Antique (12 February) -- A total of 753 corn farmers availed of government subsidy for "crush corn hunger mitigation project" under the Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA)Corn Program.
Conception Cepe, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist said that for 2008, the Department of Agriculture released 750 bags of corn seeds amounting to P2.250 million in which the government paid out P1.5 million subsidy at P2,000.00 per bag of 18 kilos and the farmers gave out an equity of P.375 million at only P500.00 per bag.
Crush corn hunger mitigation-GMA Corn program aims to increase productivity, improve quality of corn to help farmers cope with the effect of economic crisis and ensure food sustainability especially among small farmers, said Edna Arlene Lavega, Information Officer, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).
OPA also reported the increasing corn yield from 2.73 metric tons per hectare in 2007 to 2.9 MT in 2008. Areas planted to corn has also increased from 773.04 hectares in 2007 to 845.4 hectares in 2008. Hybrid corn registered a higher yield of 3.11MT per hectare while traditional variety only has 1.84MT per hectare.
Cepe further said that more farmers are shifting from traditional variety to hybrid corn because of its high yielding capacity and increasing demand in the market especially for feeds of livestock. Compared to other provinces in Region 6, Antique still needs to produce more corn in order to meet the demands of feed millers and even local consumption of back yard livestock raisers, the source added.
Aside from crush corn program, Antique is also implementing the regular GMA Corn program where corn seeds are available at P1,300.00 per bag with government subsidy at P1,200.00. Corn seeds are available at the warehouse of the Department of Agriculture in Padang, Patnongon, Antique.
The Provincial Government of Antique is in all out support to this program by providing training/capability building to farmers, technical assistance conducted by the agricultural technicians in the municipalities and monitoring of the implementation of the program.
Government subsidy to corn production is a big help to reduce expenses of farmers and increase their production thus helping them improve their standard of living, concluded Cepe. (PIA) [top]