DA sets up corn feedstock service centers
- by Rommel Ynion () - May 16, 2001 - 12:00am
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has set up five corn feedstock service centers in Mindanao to further boost corn production which has so far registered a seven-percent growth this year.

Agriculture Secretary Leonardo Montemayor said the establishment of corn feedstock service centers will help the country attain or even surpass its corn production target of two million metric tons this year, up by 6.26 percent over the previous year.

Montemayor said the corn feedstock centers, which were built at a cost of P62.13 million, form part of the total agribusiness systems approach advocated by the Arroyo administration.

The DA chief pointed out that the radical shift to total agribusiness approach, from a production-oriented one, could help modernize the agriculture sector especially when the El Niño arrives sometime in the third quarter this year.

"This means that the financing, production, post-harvest, processing and marketing of farm and fishery products are integrated into one major undertaking, with the farmers sharing with government, agribusinessmen, local government units and financial institutions," Montemayor said.

Montemayor added that farmers’ cooperatives, along with agribusinessmen and the local government units, have accounted for the 20 to 34 percent of the total project financing.

The government, he said, would bankroll the establishment of the corn feedstock centers with the credit assistance of the Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corp. (Quedancor), an agri-credit guarantee institution under the control of the DA.

"The corn feedstock service center will be equipped with modern farm machines and post harvest equipment," Montemayor said, adding that the facilities would also serve not only as conduits for seeds and fertilizers, but also as buying and storage centers.

The corn feedstock service centers are an offshoot of an agreement between the DA and the National Agribusiness Development Center (NADC) Foundation.

NADC has been the catalyst for the establishment of agri-business enterprises and the enhancement of management expertise especially in the farmers’ cooperatives.

The DA also recently launched five NADC-initiated projects in the Visayas and Mindanao: a P4.5-million corn feedstock center in Claveria, Misamis Oriental; a P100-million cardava tissue culture production and a P2.3-million banana chip processing plant, both in Kidapawan, North Cotabato; a P3-million asparagus box factory in Davao del Norte and a P74.3-million hog contract growing project in Iloilo, Antique and Aklan.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY LEONARDO MONTEMAYOR ANTIQUE AND AKLAN CORN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EL NI FEEDSTOCK MILLION MONTEMAYOR
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