PASTOR BONITO
Digdigon, Goa, Camarines Sur

Outstanding Quality Corn Farmer Of Bicol

By Mabelle R. Ilan

Pastor Bonito of Digdigon, Goa, Camarines Sur was once a driver of a rich family in Goa. He was motivated to venture into corn production when his boss would bring truckloads of corn in the comprada and he was amazed to see being handed to his boss bundles of money from the sales of corn. He first planted his 3 hectares farm with corn. His first venture netted only Ps 600 this was 20 years ago. But now he is raking in Ps 44,000 net from his three hectares.

Today, Mang Pastor has expanded his corn farm. He leased another 8 hectares and planted it with hybrid yellow corn (Dekalb 818). Corn farmers in the municipality of Goa which is part of the corn cluster in Camarines Sur plant corn from January to May then June to September. Mang Pastor planted last January 20 following the 75 x 25 cm. distance of planting with one seed per hill. He used the locally manufactured armalite corn seeder.

However, heavy rains during the early part of the year caused a 20% mortality in the seedlings. But despite the loss he was not at all discouraged, instead he gave his full attention to rehabilitate his farm. He cannot do away with fertilizer. Based on the result of the STK analysis, he needs to apply 4 bags complete and 8 bags organic as basal and 4 bags urea during hilling up. He also applied foliar fertilizer at flowering stage.

Mang Pastor has been judiciously applying pesticide. He regularly monitors his farm to see if there are signs or symptoms of pests and disease He also uses tricho cards supplied by the DA to control corn borer but last cropping, trichocards were not available. Instead he sprayed three times at 30 days after planting; 45 days and at 60 days.

Last cropping season, Mang Pastor obtained an average yield of 5 tons per hectare dried at 14% moisture content. To facilitate shelling his corn he uses the mechanical corn sheller incurring an expense of Ps 8 per sack. He also cited that the rate for drying corn in Goa is Ps 6 per bag while hauling or transport is also Ps 6 per bag.

According to Mang Pastor it takes about 2 days to completely dry corn in the concrete pavement. He utilizes the drying pavement at the Agro-Center in Goa. He sells his corn to Maymatan Multi-Purpose Cooperative at Ps 9.80. For one hectare his total cost of production is Ps 34,310.00. Obtaining a yield of 5 tons per hectare he was able to get a net income of Ps 14,690.

At 48, this successful corn farmer still aims to improve his lot and be more currently one of the Board of Directors of Maymatan Multi-Purpose Cooperative which is one of the region's viable and active cooperatives.

With his enthusiasm and innovativeness Mang Pastor is optimistic that he could still increase the yield of his corn given the good weather and the right technologies. Today, he encourages more farmers in Goa to plant corn and be a member of their cooperative.