GENERAL SANTOS CITY: Region 12 was the country’s second top corn producer last year based on records released by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics on Thursday.
Department of Agriculture Director Amalia Jayag-Datukan said Region 12 harvested 1,305,607 metric tons (MT) from around 440,000 hectares.
Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cota–bato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
“From rank three in 2012, we’re now second in terms of corn production among 17 regions in the country,” Datukan said.
She said the region’s corn output last year represented 18.4 percent of the country’s total production and 32.5 percent of the entire Mindanao.
Cagayan Valley region topped the list with a total corn production last year of 1,713,674 MT.
The other top corn-producing regions are Northern Minda-nao (1,185,036 MT), Autonomous Region in Muslim Min–danao (667,104 MT), Ilocos (447,503 MT) and Western Visayas (345,527 MT).
In 2012, Region 12 posted a total corn production of 1,201,579 MT, which accounted for 16 percent of the country’s overall corn production performance.
Owing to such accomplishment, the DA’s Agri-Pinoy corn program coordinator Zaldy Boloron said the region is dedicated and even more driven to improve on its present standing.
“In due time, we will be the top corn producer in the country,” he said.
Boloron explained that this year, the DA central office has set aside some P180.160 million for the corn program.
Such funding is 45.8 percent higher compared to P123.426 million budget in 2013.
Boloran said 47 percent of the allocation was earmarked for post-harvest facilities development services, which includes the establishment of village-type corn-on-cobs dryers and corn mills.
This year, Boloran said the target is five percent increase in the region’s corn yield or total production of 1,368,614 MT.