The Cebu Provincial Government trained 22 local farmers as seed growers to boost local production of corn seeds in Cebu.
For participating the Seed Growers Training and Certification last Dec. 16-18, the farmers could have the chance to earn more.
Provincial Agriculturist Officer-in-Charge Dr. Roldan Saragena said the training will support the Farmer Scientist Training Program (FSTP) of the Capitol.
The Capitol has been importing open-pollinated corn variety (OPV) seeds from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and Mindanao for FSTP.
Agriculturist Mirabel Amado said the farmers are assured of a market. She said the province will be the one to buy the corn seeds from them.
However, these locally produced OPV seeds must first pass the standard of the National Seed Quality Control Services of the Bureau of Plant Industry. If it passes the standard, it will be called certified seeds and can be sold to the market at a higher value.
The current market price of certified seeds is P35 per kilo. Those without certification are only priced at P15 per kilo.
With the availability of OPV corn seeds, the farmers would not be forced to use native corn seeds again.
The participants who are farmer-scientist themselves would be able to get licenses as seed growers after the training. The license is good for three years and they will be retooled before their license will be renewed.
Among the speakers were Catalino Higida of the Cebu Technological University-Barili Campus, Jun Acabal of the Regional Crop Protection Center of the Department of Agriculture, and Nancy Quinapondan of the Provincal Agriculturist Office.
Higida lectured on the balanced nutrients needed by corn plants. He also stressed the need for seed growers in Cebu. He said the insufficiency of high yielding corn seeds in Cebu hinders the productivity of the farmers.
Acabal taught the farmers of integrated pest management while Quinapondan presented the measures how to prevent post-harvest losses.