Sec. Yap inaugurates P33-M corn post-harvest facility in Zamboanga del Norte/H3>
By Franklin P. Gumapon
Dipolog City (11 February) -- A newly constructed corn post-harvest facility in Sergio Osmeņa town was formally inaugurated Friday with Secretary Arthur C. Yap of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The P33-million Zamboanga del Norte Corn Post-harvest Processing and Trading Center, which is jointly financed by DA's National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCOR), Zamboanga del Norte provincial government, Sergio Osmeņa municipality and Rep. Cecilia Jalojos-Carreon's Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), is expected to raise production of the grain in the area by as much as 10 percent and farmers' income by 50 percent.
Yap said the facility aims to ensure a steady supply of corn even during wet season and produce premium quality corn grains at 14 percent moisture content. "The facility will also help decrease post-harvest losses from 15 percent to 5 percent of production and raise income for corn farmers by 50 percent," Yap stressed.
"The project has a return of investment rate of 12.5 percent for its investors," Yap added.
Yap also expected the NABCOR to pursue its project of establishing similar post-harvest centers in other corn-producing areas of the country as part of the government's efforts to ensure grains sufficiency for Filipinos.
Yap further said "the construction of this post-harvest facility is part of the infrastructure build-up ordered by President Arroyo in the face of the rebounding economy."
The President earlier this week said her government will carry on this massive infrastructure program this year to serve as a "springboard" for higher growth and a "firewall" against the looming economic slowdown in the United States.
NABCOR provided the bulk of the funding for the construction of the facility at P23 million, Zamboanga del Norte provincial government pitching in P2 million as its counterpart fund, another P3 million from Sergio Osmeņa town and P5 million from Rep. Cecilia Jalojos-Carreon. (PIA-ZN) [top]