The Department of Agriculture–Cordillera (DA-CAR) continues to champion corn farmers as they monitor the corn model farms in the region. The said activity was done on November 8-9, 2022 at Conner, Apayao and Tanudan, Kalinga, respectively.
The activity aims to assess the overall performance of the model farms during the last cropping season, with a focus on their total harvest, cost of production, and income. These were done through one-on-one interview to generate fertilizer for the next cropping season. The data gathered will be compared with their previous production performance. The model farms are managed by Banban Integrated Farm Multipurpose Cooperative (BIFMA) and Dupligan Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (DUFAMPCO).
The implementation of the corn model farm project is intended to increase corn production and farmers’ profits, particularly for those who have lower yields due to the quality of the soil and corn seeds; to provide financial support for associations that lack operating funds, and to utilize farm equipment and post-harvest facilities. The initiative aims for the model farms to produce 5 MT/ha, or 80–100 bags/ha, of grain. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, Kalinga only achieved an average yield of 4.26MT/ha in 2021, while Apayao only obtained an average yield of 4.45 MT/ha.
Poor technology adoption has been recognized as one of the key issues with project implementation because few farmers are keen to attend trainings on package of technology. To aid farmers in progressively adjusting to the most recent agricultural techniques and technology, the DA-CAR also actively promotes recent technological innovations.
Nicasio Baucas, the Apayao Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer, reaffirmed that government interventions, like techno-demos or model farms, are offered to organizations so that more recipients can benefit from the support and learn new production technologies in corn.
The model farm provided an opportunity for farmers to use hybrid seeds, produce corn in sloping areas and apply the fertilizer recommendations based on the soil analysis.
From the farmer interviews, the Regional Corn Program will also assess the projects through site-specific nutrient management (SSNM) for corn, a technology on fertilizer management plan based on on-site location. This is done to meet the crop’s nutritional needs based on the growing environment and to boost farmer profit and yield while maintaining the soil’s quality.
The SSNM system will determine how much fertilizer should be used and how many seeds should be planted per hectare. The 4R [on fertilizer application] of the site will then be determined by the system: right source, right amount, right place, and right time. The system will also calculate the anticipated gain in income.
The farmers’ efforts to reduce fertilizer use, minimize production costs, and increase productivity will be achieved through the SSNM recommendation. The DA-CAR encourages farmers to adopt SSNM and spread awareness of the technology likewise campaigning for precision farming for a more bountiful harvest in the next cropping season. By CEWaytan