Farmers in Alfonso Lista, Ifugao can now dry their corn produce all-year round after the village type dryer (VTD) became operational, this year.

The VTD was turned-over  by the Department of Agriculture –Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) through the Corn and Cassava Program to the Ifugao State University (IFSU) – Potia Campus on February 27,2018. The machine was tested onsite to ensure that it is in good condition and fully operational.

VTD is  a modern post-harvest facility used for drying corn, compared to traditional way of drying r reduces post-harvest losses and post-harvest expenses. It aims to increase farmers income and elevate the quality of corn produced.

The cost of the newly constructed facility amounts to P 7.5 M pesos and occupies a total area of 1500 sq meters. It has a corn on cob dryer and a recirculating dryer with biomas-fired furnace. The cob dryer has a capacity of 20 metric tons while the grain dryer for corn and rice has a capacity of 12 metric tons.

 “Farmers will not need to worry during the wet season since the VTD will be a great help to the farmers corn produce by preventing postharvest losses”,  said IFSU-Potia Campus Director Rodolfo L. Ildefonso.

Based on the data of the Philippine Statistic Authority (PSA), an estimated of 4.6 % is lost when drying which constitutes a total of 37% in the overall production, in one cropping season making it critical among the various post-production operations.

The construction of the VTD was in line with the Republic Act 917 which prohibits the use of roads as a solar dryer for corn. This is to prevent any possible contamination of corn cob and grains as well as to prevent road accidents, according to ILdenfonso.

He added that this facility will also serve as an educational center for IFSU students.

The said post harvesting facility is expected to cater not only corn farmers in Alfonso Lista but also the other neighboring municipalities. The awarded facility capacitates corn farmers to produce good quality corn that will eventually lead to an increase in their income. //A. Canero

Hearts day has always been a busy day for Regional Executive Director Narciso Edillo of the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR).

This year, he delivered a message to the Benguet Farmers Federation of Irrigators Association Inc. (BFFIA) during their Assembly Meeting, morning of February 14, 2018 at NIA-CAR, La Trinidad, Benguet.

In his message, Edillo talked about the challenges besetting agriculture such as the need to strengthen research that will help increase production to achieve self-sufficiency. Another is the declining interest of the younger generation on farming thus, majority of farmers are aging and they are not open to new technologies.

He said that farmer associations have big roles in the implementation of programs and projects of the department. The DA aside from the usual rice and corn program also support high value crops such as vegetable, coffee and others, he added.

He also emphasized that to compete with other neighboring countries, labor cost and cost of production should be minimized. He said that mechanization should be promoted to subsidize inputs. Postharvest facilities should also be provided through associations and cooperatives so that more farmers will benefit from the intervention. And Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) should be strictly implemented. Example of this GAP are the practices of direct seeding and cluster farming. These should be considered by the farmers to compete in the international market.

RED Edillo also commended the farmers for providing food for the country. “The DA is one of the agencies among many that support farmers in this role,” he said.

He ended his message by saying that the BFFIA should strengthen their association for the DA to extend support to them.

The Regional Director was also visited by Mayor Avelino Amangyen of Paracelis, Mayor Joselito Goygoyon of Kiangan, Ifugao and Councilor Glenn Anila of Tabuk City during that day to follow up the status of their proposed projects for funding support by the DA.

RED Edillo reminded them to ensure that they have accomplished the requirements needed for the liquidation of the projects that was downloaded to them during the previous year to be qualified to acquire another support from the department.// Karen T. Gawigawen