Thai group to invest in local corn farms
Wilma Yamzon (The Philippine Star) - April 6, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, a multi billion firm in Thailand, is investing  in Vigan, Ilocos Sur after  signing a sustainable corn production deal with the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur (PGIS).

The deal would enable Ilocos corn growers to raise their productivity and give them a ready market and higher price for their produce.

Ilocos Sur Gov. Ryan Luis Singson and Nopparut Pradurmsuk, senior vice president of Bangkok Produce Merchandizing Public Company Ltd. (BKP), signed recently  a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Ilocos Sur provincial capitol.

The BKP is a unit of the CP Group engaged in the production of corn, sorghum, fish meal, soybean meal and rice bran which are  used as raw materials in making animal feeds.

Under the MOU, both parties would cooperate and exchange knowledge and technology in the cultivation, harvesting, storage,  post-harvest handling and marketing of corn.

Singson said with the scheme, farmers could increase their production and earn higher profit.

“It has been the policy of the CP Group to sustain investment in the Philippine agriculture business sector,” Pradurmsuk said.

“This initiative is an important step to support and develop the quality of materials, especially corn and provide benefit to farmers thus offering a strong and positive contribution to the Philippine’s economic growth, “ he said.

One of the salient features of the deal allows the PGIS to gain access to a high-yielding corn seed variety from Vietnam distributed by BKP.

The deal  comes at a time when several tobacco farmers have shifted to planting corn brought about by low prices of Virginia tobacco leaves, Singson said.

The hybrid corn seeds had been proven in Ilocos field trials, and actual harvests  have raised yields by up to 50 percent, he said.

“The variety is also bigger, heavier and its quality is highly acceptable to firms which need them to make feeds,“ Singson said during press briefing.

The Vietnamese hybrid seeds dubbed “Ryan corn” is being distributed by the governor to farmers.

The corn seeds come along with other farm inputs like fertilizers and farm equipment as part of the provincial government’s package of agricultural support service to its farmers.

Under the agreement, BKP would buy the Ryan corn produced by farmers at a minimum price of P12 per kilo if the grain is sold in Ilocos Sur or P12.50 per kilo if delivered to a feedmill in Tarlac City.

BANGKOK PRODUCE MERCHANDIZING PUBLIC COMPANY LTD CHAROEN POKPHAND CORN ILOCOS ILOCOS SUR ILOCOS SUR GOV PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF ILOCOS SUR RYAN SINGSON
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