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Don’t throw those corn husks away

() - July 18, 2004 - 12:00am
Corn farmers can earn additional income from corn husks, said Rue R. Ramas, president of the Corn Husk Association of the Philippines Inc., during the recognition of six outstanding biotech corn farmers who have successfully used modern technologies in corn farming last May 18. The ceremony highlighted the "Corn Day" during the "Farmer and Fisherfolk Month" celebration. That is, by selling the corn husks after harvesting.

The husk contains several layers of papery tissue that encloses the flower organs, and later the grain kernels. It is a natural material traditionally used to make dolls, mats, figures, and platters. It has an interesting surface structure and natural color.

Corn husks can be easily patterned into desired shapes in its damp state. When dried, their shapes and color are stable. Commercially, farmers harvest the corn only.

Today, however, farmers are advised to gather the corn husks and sell them to flower shops in the locality as they can be used as materials for novelty items. Specifically, the husks are transformed into attractive decorations after having been painted with vibrant paints. The creative mind and skillful hand can make this material come to life.

The lowly corn husk used to be considered a waste that seemed to be of no use at all. In many parts of the country, corn husks is either simply left to rot or burn.

The problem with burning corn husk is that it poses health and environmental hazards. for one thing, the smoke from burning this husk is irritating to the eyes. Secondly, the smell of burning corn husk induces difficulty in breathing.

When dumped along the roads, heaps of corn husk become eye sores. These heaps of corn husks would be there for a long time as they decompose very slowly.

Today, this once considered waste can generate additional income for corn farmers. All they have to do is find a flower shop that will buy the husks.

According to Ramas, the price varies depending on the quality of the husks. Clean husks from Bt corn sell as high as P20 per sack, while the unclean ones from the traditional counterparts command a price of P10-15 per sack.

Collecting the husks is not expensive. The farmer and his family can do this job during their free time. Additional income is desirable. So, do not burn those money-smelling husks, make them usable, instead.

Forr more information, call or visit Rue R. Ramas of the Corn Husk Association of the Philippines, Inc., V.G. Rivera Farm, National Highway, Lagao, General Santos City; telefax 0833020444, mobile phone 09179515364 or email at rain@gsc.webling.com El Bill R. Madrigal, SEARCA-BIC.
CORN CORN DAY CORN HUSK ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES INC EL BILL R FARMER AND FISHERFOLK MONTH GENERAL SANTOS CITY HUSK HUSKS NATIONAL HIGHWAY RAMAS RUE R
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