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Capitol consultant targets 1.5-2 tons average of corn harvest per hectare

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

With increased subsidy for farmers, the Cebu Provincial Government is expecting an increased average of corn yield in Cebu.

Capitol agriculture Consultant Dr. Romulo Davide said they are now targeting 1.5 tons to two tons corn production per hectare per harvest.

Davide said the province has already provided the farmers with a lot of inputs through his pet project, Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP).

FSTP participants are given logistical subsidy, such as corn seeds, fertilizers and equipment.

Davide, FSTP program leader, believed it can be achieved based on the initial results of their field experiment.

The national average production of corn is two tons. According to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, Cebu only produced 800 kilos of corn per hectare per harvest.

But in the municipality of Ginatilan alone, an FSTP trained farmer produced seven tons of corn per hectare in a harvest. Davide said it is possible that the data were gathered in an area where FSTP is not implemented.

“That is why the leadership of the mayors is very important,” said Davide, winner of 2012 Ramon Magsaysay Award that is Asia’s equivalent to Nobel Peace Prize.

In the province, only nine local government units (LGU) do not have FSTP yet. These are Dalaguete, Sogod, San Remigio, Compostela, Cordova, Mandaue City, Talisay City, Santa Fe, and Bogo City.

The LGUs are asked to submit a resolution or mayor’s approval for the implementation of the FSTP in their towns or cities.

Gov. Hilario P. Davide III, in his first State of the Province Address last July, announced that he seeks to provide Php 1 million financial aid to every LGU participating in the FSTP.

Dr. Davide said the utilization of the funds should be defined and that it should be spent for FSTP alone.

He also suggested that rail road might be more suitable in the highland where the farms are located than another highway.

The Capitol has initially thought of building four trading posts across the province.

Dr. Davide said the main objective of FSTP is for the farmers to increase and sell their production in the market.

In the FSTP field day in the municipality of Santander, Dr. Roldan Saragena encouraged the farmers to take the program seriously.

He said FSTP does not only teach them the scientific way of farming but it also teaches them how to fully utilize their land. In a corn-based FSTP implemented in Cebu, the farmers are also taught which vegetable plants or crops they can plant side by side by corn. This is called inter-cropping.

The most common crops that are recommended for inter-cropping are camote, peanuts, legumes, and banana.