By: Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA 1
VIGAN CITY, July 20 (PIA) – Farmer members of the Ilocos Sur Corn Cluster Association received two six-wheeler hauling trucks procured by the provincial government during a simple turnover ceremony here the other day.
The vehicles were procured using the P3 million cash prize won by the province as one of the awardees of the National Quality Corn Achievers in 2015.
The acquisition of the hauling equipment is an initiative of the corn farmers to transport their produce from their farms to the market.
“This corn program is one of the thrusts of the provincial government to improve the life of our farmers, and even became as our best practice where the other provinces wanted to replicate,” said Singson.
In 2015 and 2016, Ilocos Sur was consecutively adjudged as outstanding province during the search for the National Quality Corn Achievers Award, and received the P3 million cash prize for each year.
Under the new implementing guidelines promulgated by the Department of Agriculture, the cash award for 2016 was given to the farmers in the form of farm inputs, such as fertilizers and hybrid seeds.
Ilocos Sur is now aims for a grand slam in the said national competition for this year.
One of the additional criteria to be met is that the corn farm lands must adopt Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) or they must be GAP Certified.
Because of this, Provincial Agriculturist Constante Botacion said that they have been working hard since the start of the evaluation period set by the DA.
At present, there are two corn farms that are GAP certified namely the corn farm of Edmar Piano in Bantay town and the corn farm of Eduardo Fernandez in Sta. Maria town.
Botacion said that his office is extending training interventions, technical assistance, and transfer technology to every corn producing municipality to sustain the increasing quality of production.
“If we make it for the third time and win the P5 million cash prize, we will not only be providing these hauling trucks but we will be implementing more projects and benefits for our corn farmers,” Singson stressed.#