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Written and Photos, Taken by Cristy Tolentino

Department of Agriculture Region IV CALABARZON Regional Corn Program Coordinator and Lipa Agricultural Research and Experiment Station (LARES) Chief spearheaded the two-day workshop on drafting of regional corn program road map, held on March 13 – 14, 2018 at El Cielito Hotel, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna. She discussed the regional corn program and directives to guide the participants in the preparation of the road map.

Around 60 participants from different corn farmers’ associations attended the workshop including Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Operations and Extension Milo D. delos Reyes; Operations Division Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Dennis R. Arpia; Agricultural Program Coordinating Officers (APCOs) Eda F. Dimapilis of Cavite, Antonio C. Visitacion of Laguna, Fidel L. Libao of Batangas, Maria S. Cribe of Rizal, and Melba M. Racelis of Quezon’s representative Tom Oriondo; Regional Information Officer Patria T. Bulanhagui; Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC) Chairman Pedrito R. Kalaw; representatives from the local government units (LGUs); and Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs).

ARD delos Reyes, a former Corn Program Coordinator in the national level, lengthily explained the guidelines in the preparation of corn program road map. According to him, “there is no permanent road maps, iba’t iba kasi ang premise ng bawat bansa. Ang direksyon ay hindi nababago pero ang strategies ay nagbabago.”

On the other hand, Chairman Kalaw, being also the President of Hog Raisers’ Association of CALABARZON, discussed the requirements on corn feed millers. “There’s a big opportunity in the feed miller industry that’s why there’s also a big demand of corn in the country. Bilang kaagapay ng gobyerno, kami ang inyong link sa private sector. Nandito kami upang pagtibayin ang pagmamaisan sa CALABARZON sapagkat ang sektor ng paghahayupan ay matibay na. Nararapat lamang na tumulong din kami sa ating mga corn farmer kung saan malaki ang pangangailangan sa corn ng mga feed miller,” said Kalaw.

From 2016 to 2017 the following equipment were given to corn and cassava farmers to wit: corn tractor (35), cassava tractor (11), combine harvester (7), cassava digger (18), corn mill for human consumption (18), hammer mill for feeds (23), 12-toner grain dryer (11), pack sealer (38), corn sheller (52), and sillage chopper (11).

For the current year, the program targeted more equipment and machinery to be given to corn and cassava farmers.

Before the workshop proper, Rosales explained about Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis and Cost and Return Analysis for the participants to have a better understanding of what the workshop is all about.