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 July 10 2009
The Taiwan technical team headed by FFTC Consultant Dr. Wen-Shyong Chen (far right) visited the corn pilot demonstration field in Butuan city, Philippines.

The Taiwan technical team headed by FFTC Consultant Dr. Wen-Shyong Chen (far right) visited the corn pilot demonstration field in Butuan city, Philippines.

BUTUAN CITY, PHILIPPINES - To lay the groundwork for the fourth-year implementation of the Philippine corn project, the Taiwan technical team, joined by officials from the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), visited Butuan City in Caraga Region and Saranggani Province, Philippines on June 01-06, 2009. Headed by FFTC Consultant Dr. Wen-Shyong Chen, the purpose of the said visit was for the Philippine and Taiwan counterparts to assess and plan programs and activities for the current year implementation. Efforts will be particularly geared toward enabling local cooperating farmers' organizations in Butuan and Sarangani to venture into F1 hybrid seed production. The mission was also seen as a good opportunity for both sides to deliberate on how to ensure the overall success of the project toward maximizing its benefits to the Filipino corn farmers in terms of improved seed availability, better production technology, and increased income.

The Modern Corn Cultivation Technology Transfer Project was launched by FFTC in 2006, in cooperation with MECO, the Northern Mindanao State Institute of Science and Technology (NORMISIST) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) Caraga Region, with funding from Taiwan's Council of Agriculture (COA), Executive Yuan. The project primarily aims to raise the average corn yield per hectare, ensure sustainable production in prime corn lands, and address poverty by increasing the income of marginal corn farmers in Caraga Region, Philippines.

Project activities in the last three years, primarily in terms of promoting modern corn cultivation technologies, have mobilized corn farmers to form small farmers’ cluster for greater access to corn-related programs of the government and other organizations. These activities contributed in strengthening the farmers’ cohesiveness, as the group farming approach builds interdependence among the farmers. However, to further encourage the corn farmer clusters to continuously plant corn, seed supply should be made accessible to them.

Hence, this fourth-year project implementation aims to improve the productivity and achieve sustainable production of quality corn not only in Caraga Region but in Saranggani Province as well, by making F1 corn hybrid seeds readily available to the farmers. Specifically, this year's targets include: the establishment of field demonstration areas for the production of F1 corn hybrid seed varieties; sustainability and availability of good quality F1 corn hybrid seeds to farmers in at least 1,000-hectare corn area; and promotion of local capacity building among technicians and corn farmers through the conduct of training courses on modern cultivation techniques for hybrid corn.