SMC unit buys 524,155 MT of corn yield to cushion Covid-19’s impact on farmers

- By Jasper Emmanuel Y. Arcalas @jearcalas

SAN Miguel Corp. (SMC) said it has bought over 500,000 metric tons (MT) of corn from local farmers as part of its support to the agricultur­e sector to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on food production.

In a news statement, SMC said its food division, San Miguel Foods Inc., has purchased 87,946 MT of corn in October to early November, bringing its total year- to- date volume to 524,155 MT.

“This is by far the largest volume ever that we have sourced directly from farmer cooperativ­es. This is part of our continuing efforts to help boost the incomes of our farmers, who have also been affected by the pandemic,” said SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang.

SMC made its commitment earlier this year that it would boost sourcing of raw materials from farmers cooperativ­es in order to help secure the country’s food supply, and ensure better income for farmers’ following the imposition of lockdowns nationwide.

Ang said the higher local corn procuremen­t came at a time that it has completed many of its new modern feed mills nationwide. Ang added that they have bought from farmers in Isabela, Pangasinan and Mindanao.

“The new facilities, equipped with large silos with aerators, are capable of stockpilin­g and storing corn and other grains for a year, Ang said. This will enable the company to buy and store bulk corn longer, giving more income to local farmers, and boosting food security,” the company said in a news statement.

The country’s corn output from January to September increased by 6.465 million metric tons from 6.32 MMT recorded volume in the same period of last year, based on latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.

Aside from corn, Ang said the company’s local cassava procuremen­t under its Cassava Assembler Program has more than doubled to 102,608 MT from their purchases last year.

Ang said the company’s cassava program “serves as a platform for small farmers to earn stable and reasonable income from SMC.”

The country’s cassava production from January to September declined by 1.5 percent to 1.829 MMT from last year’s 1.857 MMT, PSA data also showed.

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