Senator Cynthia A. Villar is seeking the approval of her bill on yellow corn noting its importance in poultry, especially for the egg-laying type of chickens.
Villar said the proposed measure, Senate Bill No. 120 (An Act to Develop and Promote the Yellow Corn Industry, to Enhance Availability of Affordable and Quality Feeds, and to Provide for a Corn Competitiveness Enhancement Fund) will also increase the production of corn and affordable feeds for the livestock and poultry sector.
“This can be achieved by institutionalizing mechanization, hybrid seeds propagation and distribution, credit, extension and training, provision of insurance, marketing, oand rganization of farmers, among others,” Villar said.
Villar, the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, also said yellow corn is one of the country’s main agricultural crops which is mainly used for livestock and poultry feeds.
“It is a rain-fed crop, requires simple land preparation, and can be grown in upland, even in sloping areas. It can usually be harvested after 55 to 75 days. It is mainly used for livestock and poultry feeds,” Villar said.
According to the senator, corn is preferred for feeds because of high carotene content. Yellow corn accounts for about 50% of the component of feeds.
While the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shows the country’s yellow corn production has been in an upward trend since 2017, Villar said this is not sufficient to cover the needs of the livestock and poultry sector.
She noted that the production cannot satisfy the demand of the country which is 8.8 million tons.
To cope with the demand, she said the country continues to import corn, feeds and other feeds components, which greatly affect the income and welfare of our corn farmers.
Aside from importation, also affecting the corn farmers are high cost of inputs, weather patterns, and pests and diseases.
The National Corn Program, a banner program of the Department of Agriculture, is the government’s response to these major challenges facing the corn industry.
Still, the senator lamented that the development of the corn industry has been left behind despite being a major component of the country’s livestock and poultry industry.
“Our corn farmers are still dealing with these issues even if there has been sufficient budget given to the program through the years,” she said.
Due to this, she renewed her call to develop and strengthen the corn industry as it will result to better livestock, poultry and dairy industries.