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Written and Photos, Taken by Amylyn Rey-Castro

Having higher target for corn production area and yield in the next four years, the Department of Agriculture Region (DA) IV CALABARZON Corn Program organizes a series of training on corn production with corn farmers and other concerned stakeholders from identified cities and municipalities in the region, since August until November 2018.

A batch of more than 20 corn growers of General Emilio Aguinaldo, Silang, Dasmariñas City, and Trece Martires City, Cavite; Tanauan City, Batangas; and Lucena City, Quezon participated in the latest conduct of the training held at El Cielito Hotel, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna on October 25 – 26, 2018.

“We are doing training activities like this to continuously educate you (farmers) and improve your capabilities in corn production, so that we will be able to help you increase your income and improve your economic conditions; at the same time, achieve the food security goal of the Department,” said Regional Corn Program Coordinator Avelita M. Rosales in front of the participants. She also emphasized that the DA persistently accomplishes researches to further improve cultural management for corn production in different areas of CALABARZON.

Likewise, Field Operations Division Officer-In-Charge Dennis R. Arpia stressed the point that the farmer-participants should understand that agricultural technologies exist, its costs and benefits, and how it will interact with their current inputs and planting practices. “You should think smart and like entrepreneurs. Keep in mind that changes in agricultural practice come not only with opportunities but also big challenges that can make agriculture more profitable for you,” he added.

To attain the said learning objectives, different topics were discussed by experts and technical staff of the Regional Field Office who served as resource persons and facilitators for the two-day activity: Corn Program’s thrusts and directions – Agricultural Technician I and Report Officer Arlene V. Natanauan; physiological and morphological characteristics of corn plant, and nutrient management – Corn Program Coordinator Rosales; insect pests and diseases of corn plant and their management – Science Research Specialist I/Entomologist Sierralyn S. Sandoval of Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC); soil analysis for right fertilizer application – Agriculturist I Rafael E. Manalo of Regional Soils Laboratory (RSL); aflatoxin – Jane Vanessa D. Yamido of Agricultural Program Coordinating Office (APCO)-Batangas; cultural management practices – Agriculturist I Alexander V. Calingasan of Corn Program; and costs and returns – Emerson Paglinawan of APCO-Quezon.

A pre-test was given to gauge participants’ prior knowledge on the subject matter; while post-tests were administered to them to ensure the training objectives were met and to measure the effectiveness of the activity. Those who got highest scores received simple items as prizes. Some of them also shared their positive feedback about the training.

It must be recalled that Corn Program also conducted this kind of training earlier this month and will organize the same for the next batch of farmers on November 7 – 9, 2018.