The Philippines expects to hit full-year corn production target despite lower forecast on standing crops and planting intentions in the major corn producing areas for the second half of 2012
Edilberto de Luna, Department of Agriculture assistant secretary and National Corn Program director, said they expect corn production to reach a record-high of 7.819 million metric tons in 2012, up by 12.16 percent from last year’s record of 6.971 million MT.
“We are confident that we will hit our target for this year,” de Luna said.
The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics earlier said that full-year corn production may reach 7.5 million MT, based on standing crops in the third quarter and planting intentions for the fourth quarter.
“Last week, we have concluded our assessment and tactical planning for the second half of 2012, and it shows a very promising result,” de Luna said.
“Even at 7.5 million MT production for this year, will still be a record-high,” he added.
The DA official also said they are now implementing additional intervention programs to entice farmers to increase areas planted to corn, as well as the use of open-pollinated corn variety in coconut areas to increase yield.
“We want to increase areas through development of idle and new lands suitable for corn production and promote intercropping of corn to coconut and cassava, which is also one of the main ingredients for animal feeds,” he said.
Interventions will include marketing and production support services, irrigation development, and construction of postharvest facilities to lower production losses, the official said.
At present, production losses in the corn sector stands at 12 percent.
“If we can reduce our production losses, we can achieve self-sufficiency earlier than 2013,” de Luna said.
Under the Food Staples Sufficiency Program, the DA expects to achieve self-sufficiency in corn by the end of 2013, with corn production eyed from 6.971 million MT in 2011 to about 8.450 million MT.