Agri-extensionists and FCA farm-leaders from Buk’non and MisOr undergo a Training on Sorghum Prod’n Technology and Market to help the agency widely disseminate the benefits of growing sorghum, and ultimately, engage more farmers in its cultivation.
VALENCIA CITY, BUKIDNON – The agriculture department in Northern Mindanao (DA-NorMin) urges the local governments and farmer’s cooperatives and associations (FCAs) for the promotion of sorghum as an alternative crop primarily for food and feed use.
Accordingly, about 50 agri-extensionists and farmer-leaders of FCAs from the different towns of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental provinces, including technical staff from DA-10 were gathered for the transfer of a package of technology on sorghum recently.
Topics centered on the crop’s regional situationer, its morphology, utilization, soil and climatic requirements, cultural management practices, estimated cost and return of production, and market demand.
Jurrybe H. Lachica, sorghum focal person of DA-10 explained, that as the agency reintroduces sorghum as a substitute crop for food and feed, said enhancement training is vital to widely disseminate the benefits of growing sorghum, and ultimately, engage more farmers in its cultivation.
For this year, he reported, that out of the 50 hectares of targeted area to be planted to sorghum regionwide, Bukidnon takes up 30 hectares, with sights in ancestral domain areas owned by indigenous people in said province.
Carmelito R. Lapoot of the department’s Research Division, said sorghum is a versatile crop owing its use and trade as raw material for animal feeds, food, fuel and fertilizer.
In mid elevation areas, he detailed, that harvesting can be done 110-120 days after planting or when 80% of the grains turn brown.
With medium yield and at a set price of P15 per kilo for grains and P2 for fodder, Lapoot relayed, that growing sorghum can generate a net income of P109,590 from a total production cost of P43,910, further noting that it is based on the planting experience of DA-10’s research station in Dalwangan, Malaybalay City.
As to marketing aspect, Pilmico and San Miguel corporations assured, that they will buy the red sorghum produce of farmers for their raw material requirements, and presented their buying price, quality parameters, and documentary requisites to do business with them.
Both companies have also urged producers to strengthen their adoption of good agricultural practices to ensure the quality production of sorghum, and to comply all the necessary documents, as this could mean more marketing options for them.
To help the department get a boost in the cultivation of the crop regionwide, Lachica underscored, that for those interested to establish a technology demonstration farm or model farm, they should submit a letter of intent, to realize learning hubs in their respective localities.
From here on, the agency can provide assistance thru the provision of seeds and fertilizers while project partners will shoulder the labor costs as counterpart, the sorghum focal person further said. # (JLO)