Agri-10 aims to assist more farmers by providing market support, among other things


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Consonant with its efforts to scale up support for corn farmers in Northern Mindanao, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-10) convened with the Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC) to discuss proposed strategies and areas for collaboration eyed to benefit corn farmers in the region, particularly in the province of Bukidnon, on March 4, at the agency compound.

On behalf of DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado, Field Operations Division chief Luz I. Guzman, PhD presided over the meeting which centered on the proposed collaboration of the DA and the Batangas-based cooperative, in line with the latter’s plans to augment their existing supply of corn for the production of mash, pellet, and crumble feeds for swine, poultry, broilers, and ruminants.

“Although we have been sourcing primarily from Luzon, we see the potential in establishing partnerships here in Mindanao, particularly in Bukidnon, and linking the corn producers here to the [SIDC],” said SIDC Business Development Manager Hazel Sastado, who also leads the cooperative’s corn project team for Mindanao.

Currently, the SIDC aims to work with the DA on the construction of a grains terminal facility in Bukidnon, eyed to consolidate a bigger volume of corn but with reduced logistical costs.

During the meeting, SIDC Chief Executive Officer Rico B. Geron also underscored the benefits of fostering DA-assisted partnerships here poised to aid regional agricultural development.

“The [Corn] program of the DA, especially here in Region 10, will be [of] great help for us to link with farmers, explore opportunities for marketing, financing, and other types of services helpful to them,” Geron said.

He also cited the region’s ideal position to meet the high demand for corn among feed millers in Luzon, due to the sizable volume of corn it can produce.

Further, Geron said that they also seek to set up branches here to empower local farmers and aid in increasing the local production of corn.

“SIDC is also looking at setting up branches in Bukidnon to encourage farmers to be members and attain the benefits that the cooperative [provides]. If they have corn planters, we can provide financing, we can supply inputs, and we can guarantee them the market,” the chief officer said.

In response, FOD chief Guzman assured the agency’s support for the initiative, reiterating this endeavor’s implications on the state of agricultural development in the region.

On the other hand, DA-10 Corn program focal person Richan D. Lacanaria also committed to assisting the SIDC in linking with corn clusters and the local government here, for the conduct of future meetings and consultations.

Also present during the meeting were SIDC Board Chairperson Dr. Angelito B. Bagui, Business Development Supervisor Miko Factor, Agriterra business advisors and consultants Jun Virola and Jan Kamphof, and DA-10 Corn program staff.# (GDA)