Panay News

Farmer revels in high corn yield, cites DA program

- Said Roquero.

VALDERRAMA, Antique – Yellow corn farmer Johann Roquero, 43, generated P62,169 worth of revenue f rom the f i rst cropping of his corn production project from the Department of Agricultur­e – Special Area for Agricultur­e Developmen­t (DASAAD) Program.

Roquero leads the 42- member Takas Imbangga-an Tangke Irrigators’ Associatio­n ( TITIA) from Barangay Takas, Valderrama. He manages a 1.5-hectare (ha) area which he uses for corn production.

From August to December 2021, Roquero harvested 56 sacks of corn weighing 3,360 kilograms ( kg) and sold at P18.50/kg. After deducting the hauling, drying, land preparatio­n fees, and other expenses, Johann had a net income of P46,270.

Roquero’s family earns from

cultivatin­g vegetables, rice, sugarcane, and corn. His wife, meanwhile, occasional­ly does cleaning work at the public market for extra income just enough for a day’s food. The couple both earn around P2,000 to P3,000

income per month.

Now that he became a beneficiar­y of SAAD, Roquero said he got a higher production in planting corn compared to his previous harvest that ranges from 25 to 30 sacks. It also helped him

pay his debts, sustain his family needs, and pay his children’s school fees.

“Salamat sa hangud nga bulig nga gintugro kang SAAD Program sa akon kag sa amon asosayon. Naka- income gid ako sa mais nga akon na- harvest kag nabaligya,” Takas Imbangga-an Tangke IA In Barangay Takas, farming has always been the main source of income of the locals to provide for their families’ needs and children’s education. Rice is the main produce but they also grow sugarcane, vegetables, and root crops.

Rice farms are cultivated mostly in irrigated ecosystem. The rice is grown in paddies with erected bunds created to keep water on the fields during tillage.

A long dry spell due to the effects of climate change hindered some farmers in the town from planting rice for several cropping seasons in the previous years. Others also often lack capital for their farm inputs and most of them rely on credit for their needs.

In 2016, Roquero formed the TITIA composed of 20 initial members in a bid to seek assistance from various government agencies. In June that year, the group was able to register to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Early in 2021, Johann and some of the TITIA farmers j oined a consultati­on of the SAAD Program where t hey l earned about t he mechanics of the program and the various agricultur­al interventi­ons it offers. With the guidance of the Municipal Agricultur­ist’s Office (MAO) in the project proposal, TITIA pursued the Corn Production Project.

T h e S A A D p r o j e c t amounting to P1,326,000 wa s d e l i ve r e d t o t h e associatio­n in August 2021. It consisted of corn seeds (40 bags), inorganic fertilizer ( 140 bags), plows ( seven pieces), harrows ( seven

pieces), caracows (10 heads), and corn shellers (two units). Challenges Encountere­d

S o m e a s s o c i a t i o n members initially hesitated to cultivate corn. Majority of the locals had their reservatio­ns since i ntroducing corn in a rice- dominated area was relatively new to the community.

However, through SAAD’s i nputs, corn production became accessible to farmers since they don’t need to draw capital.

After cultivatin­g corn for months, Roquero realized the crop is easier to grow than rice and less capital intensive, thus could reduce his expenses and provide higher income.

However, marketing of corn produce became a major challenge for Johann. To ensure buyers for his corn produce, t he MAO assisted him in coordinati­ng with suppliers in the town’s public market. He eventually made a deal with a local corn mill operator who supplies chicken feeds to local stores.

TITIA farmers were also upskilled t hrough Corn Production, Enterprise Developmen­t and Caracow Raising Training in 2021.

Roquero s a i d t hese t raining provided t hem better understand­ing of proper corn cultivatio­n, food processing and awareness of proper food handling practices which they may apply f or value- adding ventures.


Yellow corn, which the group cultivates, is used as feeds for poultry animals and as an ingredient for other corn by-products. The TITIA plans to venture into trading of poultry feeds supply.

“Kun sige- sige run ang manami nga harvest namon sa amon corn production, k a m i n a g a p l a n o n g a magpatindo­g sang isa ka feeds supply store sa banwa,” said Roquero.

For now, the group i s preparing their lands for the next cropping and planning to buy new corn seeds from their income.

 ?? ?? Johann Roquero of Valderrama, Antique says training provided by the Department of Agricultur­e make him better understand proper corn cultivatio­n, food processing and food handling.
Johann Roquero of Valderrama, Antique says training provided by the Department of Agricultur­e make him better understand proper corn cultivatio­n, food processing and food handling.

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