Corn farmers are now selling their produce at a loss as farmgate prices are now at P9 per kilogram (kg.), way below the P11.20 per kg production cost due to the bumper harvest.
This developed as the Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc. pledged its members will buy more local corn.
The Philippine Maize Federation Inc. has clamored for marketing support from the National Food Authority (NFA) for the procurement of corn and to persuade feed millers to refrain from importing during the height of the harvest season.
The group recommended to both the Department of Agriculture and to Senate committee on agriculture to set aside import taxes of imported feed wheat and corn into a development fund for the feedmilling sector as well as to allow the exports of corn during harvest season to free up surplus production.
Carlene Collado, DA director for Nothern Mindanao, said the agency had linked corn clusters to agricultural firms like San Miguel Corp. and Pilmico which buy corn at a premium.
Pilmico buys at P15 per kg this year, way above the prevailing market price of P9 to P11 per kg.
Mantibugao Farmers’ Coop in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon for example has doubled its volume to Pilmico to 500 MT per week until November at P15 per kg., Collado sad.
San Miguel Corp. and traders Anakciano and CJ Marketing in Bukidnon buy at a range of P12.85 to P14 per kg. depending on the class.
Collado said corn-on-the cob dryers, mobile mechanical dryers, corn processing facilities, warehouses and other postharvest facilities, machineries and equipment are also being given to them.
According to Nicole Sarmiento Garcia, PAFMI president, no data is available on this year’s crop output but last year’s production was at 5.9 million MT.
Farmers normally have two cropping seasons and harvest corn during the months of September and October and January and February.
Yellow corn which takes up over 50 percent of the local feed formulation, is the preferred energy source in the animal feed.