Espino, Abono spearhead 3rd phase of corn production program

September 29, 2013 at 7:37 pm Leave a comment

Governor Amado T. Espino Jr.,  Sta. Maria Mayor  Teodoro Ramos, Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O  So,  Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim Jr.  and Board Member Ranjit Ramos Shahani turn over  a bag of corn seeds to farmers during the launching of the 3rd Phase of the Corn Production Program in Sta.  Maria last September 26

Governor Amado T. Espino Jr., Sta. Maria Mayor Teodoro Ramos, Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O So, Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim Jr. and Board Member Ranjit Ramos Shahani turn over a bag if corn seeds toi farmers during the launching of the 3rd Phase of the Corn Production Program in Sta. Maria last September 26

Text and photos by Virgilio Sar. Maganes

STA.. MARIA – The third phase of the corn production program of Pangasinan was launched in this town and Pozorrubio on September 26 with the ceremonial turn-over of corn seeds and fertilizer to the farmer-beneficiaries.

The activities were attended by Governor Amadeo T. Espino Jr., Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim Jr., Sixth District Board Member Ranjit Ramos Shahani and Abono Partylist Chair Rosendo O. So.

Launched in September 2011, the corn production program aims to increase the production of corn of farmers, improve the quality of the corn and increase income of farmers.

" The 1st and 2nd phases of the corn production program were successful. Many farmers benefited from it from production to marketing. The funds came from the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) of Abono with counterparts from the provincial government and congressmen in districts. The funds are revolved, that's why we have still this program, "So said.

The program benefits almost 2,500 from 19 towns and one city of Pangasinan who are availing of the interest-free loan program.

For the corn farmers, financing their crops used to put a dent on their already worn-out pockets, Reynaldo Segui, municipal agriculture officer of Sta. Maria town.

Most of them tenants or owners of an average of a hectare, the farmers are at the mercy of agricultural supply and seed dealers which provide the needed inputs, but with an interest of five percent monthly which is collected at harvest time.

So explained that a hectare needs about P20,000 for inputs like seeds and fertilizer, and a six percent interest meant the farmers have to pay back P25,000 (including the P5,000 interest) after four months or after harvest.
The program is therefore a big help to them, as they don’t have any interest for their loans, So said.
They also have a ready market as their produce is bought by the DA’s National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) which operates a plant in Carmen, Rosales.

“For every hectare, the farmers can avail of P20,000 worth of agricultural inputs, and the Nabcor buys the produce at the prevailing market price, or even higher. They only have to pay back the value of the agricultural inputs. Thus, in a way, we are subsidizing the farmers with P5,000 each planting season,” So said.

The Nabcor also has a ready market for the corn – the hog raisers – who use corn, which has a higher protein content than wheat, as ingredient for feeds.
But under the Memorandum of Agreement with the Nabcor, the farmers can sell their produce to traders if they will get a better price. Usually however, the Nabcor’s price is the same as the traders,’ So said.
“But we do not deal directly with the farmers,” So said. “We download the agricultural inputs to the municipal governments which select the beneficiaries and deliver the inputs to them.”
The repayment rate for the loan is 90 percent. The 10 percent of the farmers claimed that their crops were destroyed by the recent calamities.
Calimlim urged the farmers to embrace the corn production program as a bridge to increase their income.

"Who will help the farmers if not the farmers themselves? We have problems here so we will not be mindful of what's happening in Manila. Rest assured that we will continue to help you with the leadership of Governor Espino," he said.

Shahani equally lauded the efforts of Governor Espino and the Abono for coming up with the corn production program to alleviate the lives of the farmers. He said that Pangasinan is number one province under the helm of Espino.

Espino recalled his secondary school years when he composed a poem citing Pangasinan as number one province in the production of palsy and corn.

" Before I became governor, Pangasinan is number 4 in entire the Philippines. Now, under my leadership, we are number 3 tailing Nueva Ecija and Iloilo provinces. But with your help, I am certain that Pangasinan will be number one in the future, "Espino said, citing the award of Sta. Maria as best in the production of quality corn, municipal level, nationwide.

He also urged the farmers to plant vegetables, both for marketing and home consumption.

He wondered why many farmers still buy vegetables in the market when they could plant their needs. He cited the "malunggay " as an example where it can thrive even when it will just be stuck on the ground.

"Let's just be practical," he said.

After the program, a memorandum of agreement (MOA ) was signed among the municipal government of Sta.. Maria and Pozorrubio, provincial government, Abono Partylist and the NFHRI represented by its vice president Romy Co.

This town received 200 bags of corn seeds to be planted to 200 hectares benefiting 160 corn farmers.

In the afternoon of same day, similar program was conducted in Pozorrubio town.

In Sta. Maria, the group was welcomed by Mayor Teodoro Ramos and in Pozorrubio by Mayor Artemio Chan together with their vice mayors and members of the Sangguniang Bayan.

5th District Board Member Nino Arboleda also attended the launching program in Pozorrubio.

Entry filed under: News.

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