LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – In a bid to regain its place among top corn producing provinces in the country, the Province of Pangasinan underwent evaluation for this year’s National Quality Corn Achievers Awards (NCQAA) in a program last September 15 at the Capitol Resort Hotel, Capitol Compound here.
Governor Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, III, expressed high hopes for Pangasinan to earn again its rightful place in the elite circle of Philippine’s best corn producing provinces.
“Our support to our farmers will never stop. We will continue the programs that benefit our farmers,” pledged the provincial chief executive, who is a corn grower himself.
He also took pride in the high quality yield of the Pangasinan corn industry, noting the province’s being bestowed the award in two straight years—2013 and 2014.
Dalisay Moya, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg)-in-charge, presented to the national evaluating panel the province’s best practices that catapulted Pangasinan as the country’s sixth largest corn producer, having 80 percent of the total corn yield of the Ilocos Region as reported by the Department of Agriculture (DA).
OPAg highlighted the formulation of the five-year Provincial Corn Road Map from 2013-2017 institutionalized by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, which “seeks to obtain sufficient and stable supply of high quality corn to increase income of farmers through good agricultural practices and ecologically smart technologies.”
It was also mentioned that from 2012-2015, overall corn production picked up an increasing trend in volume, area harvested and yield, owing to the corn production activities initiated by the provincial government.
Reported number of corn clusters or organized corn raisers group duly registered with Cooperative Development Authority or the Securities and Exchange Commission has now reached 64, encompassing 32 towns and a city in the province.
Manifold agricultural infrastructures erected, rehabilitated and maintained under the administration of the governor and now Congressman Amado T. Espino, Jr. and carried on by the younger Espino dotted the province, ranging from: Shallow Tubewell irrigation, communal irrigation, Multi-Purpose Drying Pavement, Farm-to-Market roads and bridges as well as the construction of the Corn Farmers’ Activity/Coordinating Center in San Quintin funded by the cash prize the province won from the NCQAA 2012- 2013.
The province has been providing production support to Pangasinense corn producers by distributing subsidized and loan grants for fertilizers and bio-control agents as well as soil testing services.
Technology transfer services, post-harvest support, market support and Good Agricultural Practices orientations and trainings were held to augment the local corn raisers’ productivity.
By establishing linkage with various lending institutions and cooperative banks, the Pangasinan Credit Surety Fund was founded to enhance the marketing capability of the corn production industry and to ensure ready buyers for them.
Moya said that more projects are in store for local corn growers this coming calendar year as the provincial government plans to earmark a larger chunk of budget for agricultural thrusts.
Leading the visiting evaluation team from DA is Diana Belo, Toxicology Laboratory officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Animal Industry.