Corn farmers see better harvests with biotech
Corn farmers are confident of better harvests and a shot at the export market with the help of Bt corn, the Philippine News Agency reported.
“With the new JDC (joint department circular) for biotechnology, local corn farmers have better chances of tapping the export market because we will continue reaping higher yields with Bt corn,” the PNA quoted Philippine Maize Federation Inc. (Philmaize) president Roger Navarro as saying.
Navarro said with Bt corn, producers could be assured of better yields and competitiveness in the Asean economic community (AEC).
The Philippines produced 7.553 million metric tons (MMT) in crop year 2014-2015, slightly lower than the previous year due to El Nino.
Navarro said Northern Mindanao was badly hit by drought, which resulted in lower corn yield.
Northern Mindanao is the second biggest corn producing region next to Region 2.
At least 2.5 million hectares of land in the Philippines are planted to corn, with a yield of 4 MT per hectare.
The Philippines produces mostly yellow corn, where 70 percent goes to feed mills, while the 30 percent are used for food such as oil and starch.