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Around 55 delegates from CALABARZON Region joined the 15th Philippine National Corn Congress (PNCC) held at Iloilo Convention Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City on November 12 – 14, 2019.

With the theme, “Productivity Growth: Key to Sustainable Corn Production and Food Security,” the occasion brought together Department of Agriculture (DA) officials and employees, farmers, local government units (LGUs), academe, private sectors, and industry stakeholders to talk about pressing concerns, share knowledge on best farm practices and new technologies, and create market linkages.

The first day of the event highlighted the opening of technology demonstration exhibits and agricultural trade fair which showcased different technologies and agricultural products from 16 regions of the country including CALABARZON’s corn cob charcoal briquettes, roasted corn (sweetened powdered drink), cassava chips, cassava flour, dried cassava grates, etc.; and the awarding ceremonies for the 7th National Quality Corn Achievers Awards, 3rd CORNUCOPIA Awards, and 3rd Cassava Cluster Management Excellence Awards which recognize the achievements of top-performing DA regional field offices and LGUs in the production of quality corn and cassava, together with the active participation of their respective agricultural extension workers in support to the development of corn and cassava sector.

Mr. Leo A. Gelisan from Calamba City, Laguna was one of the 100 outstanding agricultural extension workers for this year. He received 20 thousand pesos and a plaque.

Mr. Gelisan was grateful to all of his colleagues at Calamba City Agricultural Services Department who helped him get the award and to DA CALABARZON for the implementation of programs and projects under the Corn Program. And to all corn farmers in their locality, he promised that, “I will continue to share with you the knowledge I have gained and will be gaining in the seminars and trainings I attended and will be attending conducted by the DA and other government agencies for your ultimate benefit.”

According to Ms. Avelita M. Rosales, CALABARZON Corn Program Coordinator, it is true that Mr. Gelisan shares with the farmers what he has learned in trainings. “In his desire to educate the farmers, their production increased as he encouraged them to grow more corn. Their area increased with five hectares on which they have now 400 hectares for corn production in the city,” Ms. Rosales confirmed.

Technical sessions on the second day covered topics on: developing competitive and entrepreneurial sustainable agriculture, smart nutrition management for corn farming, challenges and opportunities in corn weed management, management of fall armyworm, establishment of educational corn farms, demand on other uses of corn, and many others.

The corn congress was concluded with the discussion of corn industry issues and concerns, updates on the 14th PNCC resolutions, 15th PNCC resolutions, and recognition of exhibitors.

The three-day activity was conjointly organized by the DA Corn and Cassava Program, Agricultural Training Institute, and Philippine Maize Federation. ٠ ARC, DA-RAFIS