Corn processing plant up in Rosales

June 28, 2009 at 2:47 am Leave a comment

By Yolanda Zulueta

ROSALES -– Pangasinan corn farmers now have a ready market with the establishment of the corn post harvest processing and trading center (Corn PHPTC) in Carmen village here.

The Corn PHPTC, a joint venture between the National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) and the Fertilizer Dealers and Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative, aims to improve productivity and incomes of the province’s corn farmers.

At least 45,000 hectares are planted to corn in Pangasinan, according to a briefer of the Nabcor.

The briefer said the corn sector faces great opportunities at present because of the growth of local livestock industry and the shift in thrusts of other countries to bio-fuel.

Still, the corn industry is faced with several challenges like how to address the perennial shortage of corn during lean months and how to improve the quality of corn to be delivered to the end-users.

Corn farmers used to sun-dry their corn on pavements, but when it rains or when its cloudy, the corn do not meet the content moisture and the quality needed by processors, Ferdinand Matro, corn coordinator of the Department of Agriculture in the Ilocos Region.

One of the measures to address these concerns is the establishment of the corn post harvest processing plant, he said.

The plant provides two types of drying services: drying of corn on cobs and drying of grains after shelling.

The plant will use the corn cobs as fuel to dry to corn.

At the plant, the corn will undergo several processes. First, The corn cobs which are approximately 105-115 days old at the date of harvest, will undergo drying process.

“To ensure that the risk of aflatoxin contamination is reduced, the corn on cobs must be processed within three days after harvest,” the briefer said. Zero aflatoxin means that the corn is safe for human and animal consumption

At the cob drying bin, the corn will be subjected to 60-80 degrees Celcius of dry air through a blower for 36 hours, reducing the moisture content from 30 percent to 20 percent.

Then the corn are shelled (grains are separated from cobs), then the grains undergo final stage of drying for five hours to reduce the moisture content to 14 percent.

“At 14 percent moisture content, the corn grains can be stored for six months to one year, depending on the condition of the storage bins,” the Nabcor said.

Corn grains are sold to processors of corn chips or to processors of animal feeds, Matro said.

He said with the processing plant, corn farmers in Pangasinan and Tarlac are assured of ready market for their produce, while processors are assured of quality corn.

Entry filed under: News.

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