SIRUMA CAMARINES SUR –   With the bright prospect of the corn industry in the region the Department of Agriculture intensifies its efforts to expand the corn areas in the region by opening new areas and developing new corn cluster. The municipality of Siruma which has a vast expanse of hilly and sloping areas suitable for corn production and which is now very accessible because of the newly constructed road network is being eyed by the DA to be developed into a corn cluster.

Local farmers who were already engaged in corn production and prospective corn farmers, and stakeholders were invited to participate in the drafting of their municipal medium term (2019-2023) corn cluster development plan.  The members of the technical team from the DA regional office headed by Dean L. Medrano, assistant regional corn coordinator briefed the participants about the corn and cassava program, government interventions and assistance and prospects of the corn industry and production, harvesting and post-harvest management and practices. Lolit Pama of the Regional Crops protection center discussed the Integrated Pest Management while Alden Jesus Ragay of the Agribusiness and Marketing Division discussed the Marketing and Investment Opportunities for Corn and Cassava.

According to Medrano there are currently 46 corn cluster now organized and operational in the region most of which are in Camarines Sur and are engaged in yellow corn production. The corn cluster to be developed in Siruma will be the 47th.

According to the Municipal Agriculturist, Lorna V. Avellana they are targeting about 500 hectares for their corn cluster from their 22 barangays.  She mentioned that there are some private groups who have shown interest to engage in corn production in the municipality in partnership with the local farmers.

Meanwhile mayor Sandy SP. Ondes in his message to the participants expressed his support to the program and acknowledged that their municipality has great potential for corn production. Also present during said activity were: municipal councilor and chairperson of Agriculture committee, Roselo Abad, Provincial Corn Coordinator, Ruel M. de Jesus and Emily B. Bordado, DA chief Info. Officer.