The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 5 through the Corn and Cassava Program continues to roll out the Corn Production Enhancement Program (CPEP) for the corn farmers of the region.

Recently, DA conducted the awarding ceremony and distribution of the Yellow Corn Production Enhancement Program (YCPEP), and Pump Irrigation System for Open Source (PISOS) to the cluster associations of Albay, Camarines Sur, and Masbate.

Six (6) farmer associations in Albay with 180 farmer-beneficiaries received the YCPEP package amounting to P3,330,000.00.

Meanwhile, 29 farmer associations in Camarines Sur with 840 farmer-beneficiaries received the YCPEP package amounting to P15,540,000.00 Four (4) Cluster Associations namely the Calabanga Agriculture Cooperative, Sagnay Tinorongan Indigenous People Farmers Association, Oragon Farmers Association of San Rafael, and Agriculture Cooperative of Tigaon received PISOS worth P99,750.00 each.

The same interventions were given to six (6) farmer associations in Mainland Masbate with 180 farmer-beneficiaries. PISOS were also distributed to 18 cluster associations in Masbate mainly the Cabanoyoan Farmers Association, Integrated Farmers Association of Buenaflor, Jamorawon Agriculture Cooperative, San Pedro Rice and Corn Farmers Association, Sta Rosa Peoples Organization, Buenasuerte San Fernando Marginal Farmers Association, Inc., Sitio Matungao Cabangcalan Aroroy Masbate Farmers Association Inc., Ilaya-Dao Small Water Impounding System Association Inc., Bolo Farmers Association, Samahang Magsasaka ng Halabangbaybay, Rizal Corn and Cassava Association, Cabangcalan Farmers Organization, Luyong Catungan Farmers and Fisherfolks Association, Chimenea Farmers Association, Cawayan Camote Rice Corn and Cassava Planters Organization, United Farmers Association of Barangay Mapanique, Candelaria Farmers RIC Association, and Canahig-Pinamalatican Irrigators Association Inc.

Regional Technical Director for Operation, Luz R. Marcelino welcomed the participants as she shared the data for corn production last year. She said, “ang Albay po nagkokontribuir ning 22.82% versus the Bicol total. Then, sa Camarines Sur nagkokontribuir siya ning 75.86% to the regional total production. The average yield in Bicol for corn is 3.92 metric tons per hectare. On the national average, we have a total average yield of 4.24 metric tons per hectare which I think is quite high because pagdating po sa mga interventions kan DA, yaon po su mga marhay na banhi, yaon si mga makinarya, yaon dyan si post-harvest equipment and infrastructure ta.”

Also present during the event were Agricultural Program Coordinating Office (APCO) for CamSur Marcial T. Bustarga, APCO for Albay Florentino D. Ubalde, Jr., Provincial Corn Coordinator (PCC) for CamSur Ruel M. De Jesus, PCC for Albay Dalmacio N. Orpiana, and Syngenta Philippines representative Ramil Hernandez.

The Syngenta Phils. Is the top performer during the Corn techno demo farms and Corn derbies conducted by the DA RFO 5. Through the lecture given by Syngenta, the participants learned the technical specification of the seeds distributed to them during the awarding.

On the other hand, Corn and Cassava Regional Coordinator Engr. Amabel Bombase tackles the CPEP. She explained that each farmer-beneficiary will receive a package of two bags of yellow corn seeds at 9 kilograms per bag, one bag of Urea and one bag of complete fertilizers for yellow corn producers, and a package of one bag of white corn seeds, one bag of Urea and one bag of complete fertilizers for white corn producers. This primarily aims to increase the grain yield of white and yellow corn by 3% annually, to have an adequate supply of corn for animal and human consumption, and increase the income of the corn farmers.

As of this writing, a total of P24,394,500 worth of agri-inputs were distributed by the DA Corn and Cassava Program to the abovementioned cluster associations, and the Corn Program will continue to provide the needs of corn farmers to achieve agricultural productivity and efficiency. (MA. EDELYN BONGALOS)