Recently in Valencia City, a consultation meeting was held by DA-10 led by RED Collado and 3rd district Bukidnon Representative Zubiri, together with other corn stakeholders to help farmers address the prevalent buying price of corn and ensure its long-term stable market prices


VALENCIA CITY, BUKIDNON, October 22 – Eyed in aiding farmers to command better prices for their produce, a Consultation Meeting was staged with the agriculture department of Northern Mindanao (DA-10) on October 21.

The congressional, provincial and municipal governments of Bukidnon, corn clusters and feed millers convened, following after 3rd district Bukidnon Representative, Manuel F. Zubiri, sought help from DA-10 for a discussion focusing on the current buying price of yellow corn and ensure its long-term stable market prices.

Being the second top producing province across the country, Bukidnon has posted a production of 714,673 metric tons (MT) of yellow corn last year, based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.

In mid-September of this year, average farm gate buying price for yellow corn range from P9.80-10.50 in Bukidnon, while it is pegged at P12.50-16.00 for feed millers and processors buying across Region 10.

Carlota S. Madriaga, regional technical director for operations of DA-10 emphasized, the engagement aims to come up with a unified and harmonized action plan for Northern Mindanao’s corn industry, especially in Bukidnon.

Basically, also noting the agency’s measures to help farmers demand better prices for their corn harvest.

“As early as 2018, we have directly linked the Mantibugao Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmer’s Cooperative (MARBFC) of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon with Pilmico Foods, Corp. to serve a portion of said company’s requirements for animal feeds.

As part of their social responsibility, it is also their way of helping farmers through their inclusive corn sourcing project,” Madriaga reported.

Currently, the Cooperative has a target purchase order with Pilmico, a minimum of 250 MT at P15.00 per kilo.

In a bid to open marketing support opportunities for more Bukidnon corn farmers, Madriaga noted, the ‘big brother-small brother’ marketing strategy is also in place.

“As the big brother, MARBFC acts as a consolidator, buying the produce of its members and other cooperatives, even as far as the towns of Kibawe and Kadingilan, to assist small corn farmers in selling their harvest to Pilmico, where the Cooperative buys yellow corn from them at P13.00 per kilo.”

She added, other corn clusters linked to Pilmico includes, Kaugayan Savers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Impasug-ong); Salvacion Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Kadingilan); and the BFI Employees Agrarian Reform Cooperative (Don Carlos), who are now waiting for quality control results for their submitted corn samples.

Likewise, she reiterated DA Secretary William D. Dar’s call for local governments to lend a hand in stabilizing prices of the country’s major staple food crops.

For this, she urged LGUs to access loans assistance from the Landbank of the Philippines to procure commodities direct from the farmers such as corn and rice, and to establish postharvest and logistics facilities.

Meanwhile, Cong. Zubiri shared, he is pushing for a house bill to put up grain centrals in the legislative districts, adding that he will lobby for the National Food Authority to be allowed in buying all types of grains, including corn.

Issues transpired from the forum include the availment of additional postharvest facilities and access to road connectivity; strengthened linkages between farmers and feed millers and processors, including fast tracking of payments and establishment of buying stations in strategic areas of Bukidnon; and enhanced regulations on corn imports and other raw materials for feeds.

Beside Pilmico, feed millers and processors like CJ Philippines, San Miguel Foods, Corp. and Anakciano Feedmill were also in attendance, to listen the concerns from the different corn clusters and further committed to escalate these to their respective managements.

In response, they recommended to intensify farmers’ adoption of good agricultural practices to ensure quantity and quality production of corn at the same time urged corn clusters to complete all the necessary documents for them to be officially recognized as a legal entity, which could translate to greater marketing prospects.

“We have a line-up of requests for funding under Bayanihan 1 and 2 and we want, that whatever we have discussed will be materialized and eventually, be allocated with funds, especially on the corn clusters’ clamor for postharvest facilities,” Carlene C. Collado, regional executive director of DA-10 remarked.

The aggie department is further set to conduct a meeting with the feed millers and processors to align their yellow corn requirements, including the conduct of a corn quality forum to capacitate the various corn clusters. #