Sunday, 27 September 2009

Philippines to start exporting yellow corn this year

Manila Bulletin

The Philippines is exporting yellow corn for the first time since hybrid varieties were embraced by corn growers in the 1990s, the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced.

“Secretary Yap has approved the recommendation of the National Food Authority (NFA) to use its network of rice-buying stations to buy yellow corn for export, said Jess Paras, Department of Agriculture undersecretary for field operations. "Secretary Yap gave the green light for the NFA to buy 600,000 tons of the yellow grains at P10 per kilo which is a price that makes corn farming profitable to farmers."

Paras said that based on actual harvests in the first half of the year, corn farmers harvested 2.63 million tons or 10,000 tons higher than yields in the same period last year.

Estimates for the second half of the year would make total harvests to hit above the 7 million metric tons level, which is in little excess of local demand, the DA official added.

Direct buying by government from farmers, he explained, was decided on to stabilize domestic prices and keep the government on target in its drive to make the country self-sufficient, and even an exporter of corn-feed in a few years.

The buying will most likely be concentrated in the five top corn producing regions of Cagayan Valley, Ilocos-Pangasinan, Northern Mindanao led by the province of Bukidnon, the SOCSARGEN, and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

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