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Poor Cebu corn farmers getting richer

The poor farmers in Cebu who used to lead a hand-to-mouth existence because of meager harvest from their native white corn have become much richer now, thanks to the Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP) launched by Dr. Romulo Davide in the mid-1990s.

Dr. Davide is a retired professor from UP Los Baños who was given a grant of P500,000 for having been named the Most Outstanding Agricultural Scientist of the Year in 1994 by the Department of Agriculture.

  • CORN GRITS MILLING – Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III pours white grains in a corn mill during the recent 8th Farmer-Scientists Congress held at the Minglanilla Sports Complex in Minglanilla Cebu. Corn grits are the main staple of many Cebuanos who prefer to eat corn than rice. The corn farmers in Cebu who used to make very meager incomes from corn have now become richer, thanks to the Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP) started by Dr. Romulo Davide several years ago. Gov. Davide was the special guest during the Congress that was attended by some 2,000 farmer-scientists who trained under the FSTP.

    CORN GRITS MILLING – Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III pours white grains in a corn mill during the recent 8th Farmer-Scientists Congress held at the Minglanilla Sports Complex in Minglanilla Cebu. Corn grits are the main staple of many Cebuanos who prefer to eat corn than rice. The corn farmers in Cebu who used to make very meager incomes from corn have now become richer, thanks to the Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP) started by Dr. Romulo Davide several years ago. Gov. Davide was the special guest during the Congress that was attended by some 2,000 farmer-scientists who trained under the FSTP.

  • AGRI RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP – The East-West Seed in Thailand has recently entered into a memorandum of agreement with Chiang Mai University as research partners in agriculture. East-West is the leading vegetable seed company in Southeast Asia while Chiang Mai University has a well respected Faculty of Agriculture. The two had earlier collaborated in a project involving papaya micropropagation. From now on, they will intensify their collaboration aimed at achieving high quality academic research essential to facilitate innovation and future development in agriculture, particularly in the seed industry. Photo shows Simon Jan de Hoop welcoming 500 students who toured the Simon Groot Research Center of East-West Seed in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    AGRI RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP – The East-West Seed in Thailand has recently entered into a memorandum of agreement with Chiang Mai University as research partners in agriculture. East-West is the leading vegetable seed company in Southeast Asia while Chiang Mai University has a well respected Faculty of Agriculture. The two had earlier collaborated in a project involving papaya micropropagation. From now on, they will intensify their collaboration aimed at achieving high quality academic research essential to facilitate innovation and future development in agriculture, particularly in the seed industry. Photo shows Simon Jan de Hoop welcoming 500 students who toured the Simon Groot Research Center of East-West Seed in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

  • READY-TO-PLANT BR25 CACAO SEEDLINGS – Photo shows ready-to-plant seedlings of the BR25 cacao variety which is one of the recommended varieties to grow in the Philippines. Cacao is one of the priority crops being pushed by the Department of Agriculture for commercial production because of the big demand for cacao beans for processing into various products. The BR25 is early bearing, producing high quality beans for export or for local processing.

    READY-TO-PLANT BR25 CACAO SEEDLINGS – Photo shows ready-to-plant seedlings of the BR25 cacao variety which is one of the recommended varieties to grow in the Philippines. Cacao is one of the priority crops being pushed by the Department of Agriculture for commercial production because of the big demand for cacao beans for processing into various products. The BR25 is early bearing, producing high quality beans for export or for local processing.

  • BIOSECURITY PRECAUTION – Experts of the Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company (UNAHCO) are advising poultry raisers and gamefowl breeders to implement tighter biosecurity measures to prevent spread of diseases due to the expected rise in temperatures in the coming weeks. They advise to limit visitors in their farms to prevent contamination from possible carriers. They also recommend regular disinfection of farm premises, tools and equipment with Major D, a three-in-one disinfectant that is also a detergent and degreaser.

    BIOSECURITY PRECAUTION – Experts of the Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company (UNAHCO) are advising poultry raisers and gamefowl breeders to implement tighter biosecurity measures to prevent spread of diseases due to the expected rise in temperatures in the coming weeks. They advise to limit visitors in their farms to prevent contamination from possible carriers. They also recommend regular disinfection of farm premises, tools and equipment with Major D, a three-in-one disinfectant that is also a detergent and degreaser.

  • TWO-YEAR-OLD cacao has full-sized fruits. This is the BR25 variety which starts flowering as early as 16 to 18 months from planting in the field. Besides being an early bearer, it is also ever-bearing. Its mother plant in Teresa, Rizal started bearing when it was 18-months old more than seven years ago and the mother tree has not stopped bearing fruits since then. Cacao is a high-value crop that is being pushed by the government for commercial production.

    TWO-YEAR-OLD cacao has full-sized fruits. This is the BR25 variety which starts flowering as early as 16 to 18 months from planting in the field. Besides being an early bearer, it is also ever-bearing. Its mother plant in Teresa, Rizal started bearing when it was 18-months old more than seven years ago and the mother tree has not stopped bearing fruits since then. Cacao is a high-value crop that is being pushed by the government for commercial production.

He decided to use the P500,000 grant as seed money for his FSTP and launched a program to teach the poor corn farmers the scientific way of improving not only their corn yields but also other crops and farm animals that they can take care.

Late last year, no less than 2,000 graduates of the FSTP attended the 8th Farmer Scientists Congress in Minglanilla, coming from 48 out of 54 towns and cities in Cebu. During the Congress, 10 agri-entrepreneur awardees were given due recognition for having achieved incomes of more than P200,000 per year.

Topping the list was a lady farmer-scientist, Arlene B. Montejo of Sudlon II, Cebu City, who had an annual income of P679,000. She was followed by Jovencio Lanticse who made an income of P646,000. The other high earners are Cesar B. Ramil from Taba-ao, Tabogon; Precillo L. Albores also of Sudlon II, Cebu City; Vicente Ybañez of Bantayan; Vitaliana O. Borja from Cogon, Tuburan; Columbos G. Radan from Jagbuaya, Tuburan; Jorge F. Llego of Ronda; Joseph Montañez from Argao and Emma M. Bebanco from Poro.

With corn as their staple food, the farmer-scientists practice the corn-based farming system with research, development and extension components as advocated by FSTP. The farmers have learned to diversity their farming practices by planting different intercrops.

Commonly planted are rootcrops like camote and cassava that are popularly mixed with corn or rice during cooking. Legumes such as mungo and peanut are also planted which they have learned to help improve soil fertility.

High-value crops like vegetables are also grown, depending on the prevailing market demand. Planting all these needed careful planning with scientific basis to maximize the income from their limited farm areas.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III was the guest speaker during the farmer-scientists’ Congress. In support of the program, he promised to allocate R1-million for every local government unit (LGU) that is implementing FSTP.

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TIGHTER BIOSECURITY FOR POULTRY – Poultry raisers and gamefowl breeders are urged to adopt stricter biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of diseases due to the expected rise in temperatures in the coming weeks.

Joey Sy, a prize-winning gamefowl breeder, stressed that those raising chickens should limit visitors in their farms to prevent contamination from possible carriers and should conduct regular disinfection of farm premises, tools and equipment.

If visitors can’t be avoided, he advises breeders to spray the tires of visitors’ vehicles, their shoes and the edges of their pants with Major D, a three-in-one disinfectant that also acts as a detergent and degreaser. Major D, a Univet product, is safe to use even in the presence of animals, making routine disinfection easier because there is no need to remove the farm animals from their pens.

Dr. Allen Valdeavilla, Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company extension veterinarian, cautioned that respiratory diseases could become more common because of extreme temperatures due to the El Niño phenomenon. He said biosecurity measures are necessary to prevent possible outbreaks that could negatively affect farm productivity and profitability.

In case diseases do occur, poultry farm managers should use Microban, another Univet product, that can provide a higher level of disinfection. This kills viruses, fungi, bacteria and even bacterial spores that are resistant to common disinfectants.

  • bluestar777

    Poor Cebu corn farmers getting richer -article’s author

    The train of logic impressed with that sentence ( it’s a phrase actually not a sentence) stupidly amuses us readers. For how could these Poor farmers get richer without becoming rich first?
    Why has the writer bypassed that stage of them of becoming rich first, before getting to that stage of becoming richer afterward? The rationale of logic suffused in with and by the author’s intent of conveying what he meant just doesn’t make sense. These poor corn farmers should become rich first, before they get richer.

    If he just worded that heading with: Cebu corn farmers getting richer"or alterrnatively, "Poor Cebu corn farmers getting rich" ;then,
    Our logical thinking brain won’t be derailed hopelessly bewildered, agape, and looking foolishly stunned and stupified

    • Liam le Blanco

      Or …..Poor Cebu farmers earning more….