By Deodith Grace Honrado-Baticbatic& Sally R. Villasis
The Batad Farmers Information and Technology Services Center, on its 3rd year of showcasing the technology on open-pollinated corn varieties (OPV), hosted another corn congress on October 11, 2012 at Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (NIPSC), Batad Campus in Batad, Iloilo.
Some 150 participants were gathered to witness the 3rd Corn Congress at Iba Pa with the theme: “MaayongamgaPamaagisaPagpanguma: Yabe sang Pagpakigkompetensya.”
The participants include corn farmers, agriculture students, representatives from different seeds, pesticides and fertilizer companies, municipal and government officials, heads and representatives of different agencies such as Department of Agriculture - Regional Field Unit 6, Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center VI, Iloilo Provincial Agriculture and National Food Authority – Iloilo. Present also are representatives from Aklan State University, Capiz State University and Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC).
Mr. Ricardo Ayupan, NIPSC Batad’s college administrator stressed during his opening remarks that the economics of corn industry is on high demand especially in the livestock industry, which is vastly growing in our country.
Batad Municipal Mayor Pedro Alarcon, in his welcome speech, encouraged the farmers to plant open pollinated varieties of corn as it can serve as alternative for rice.
He also convinced the farmers to apply organic fertilizers to prevent the soil from becoming acidic and to achieve high production.
Maximum land utilization is the primary aim of the 3rd corn congress, this is according to Batad FITS Manager Eva Montero.
She emphasized in her message, “bisananokagamayang area konang farmers kabalo mag-maximize sigurado, kwartagidina.” This is an assurance that farmers will have steady income and steady food on the table,” she added.
She said that out of 4,300 square meter demonstration farm, they were able to plant hybrid aromatic rice, different kinds of vegetables, where the agriculture students were able to harvest every other day, with corn as the major crop. Among others, she proudly announced that the municipality of Batad is the first municipality to hold a corn congress.
Regional Corn Coordinator Ricardo Saltin, in his message, pronounced that the 8th National Corn Congress in Davao has also the same theme as the Batad 3rd Corn Congress, that is to be able to develop good farming practices to achieve high corn production and become globally competitive.
Representing Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC), Dr. Reynaldo N. Dusaran, Regional Techno Gabay coordinator advocated the use of open pollinated varieties (OPV) as well as the use of organic fertilizer to minimize the cost of farm inputs and to reduce the cause of soil acidity.
Dr. Ildefonso Toledo, Iloilo Provincial Agriculturist stressed in his message that farmers should go organic today because of climate change. It is a mitigating factor to reduce its effect on the crops as well as in protecting the environment.
Mr. Ricardo Saltin of DA-RFU 6 who represented Regional Executive Director Larry P. Nacionales led the group during the cutting of ribbon. Together with him are ATI-RTC VI representative Dr. Allan Alimodian, Iloilo Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Toledo, Batad Municipal Mayor Alarcon and NIPSC Batad Campus College Administrator Mr. Ricardo Ayupan. Batad FITS Manager Eva Montejo toured the group on the FITS site.
Mr. Eduardo Navarra, TGP Team Leader of Capiz State University Mambusao Campus shared the technology on Preparation of Concoctions as Foliar Fertilizer for Organic Corn during the technology forum.