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Photo from Wikimedia Commons
by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) returns to Baungon, Bukidnon tomorrow to start a program which could liberate corn farmers from the exploitation of unscrupulous traders and middlemen.

The program, Mindanao Corn Grains Silo Storage System, also aims to stabilize the supply and price of corn to boost the region's livestock and poultry industry.

MinCOGSS involves the establishment of a grains storage facility to be owned by the Local Government Unit of Baungon and operated by its Economic Enterprise Office.

Baungon is a major corn producing town of Bukidnon witj an estimated harvest area of 7,000 hectares.

Corn farmers, however, have long complained that prices of their produce drop at peak harvest time, leaving them hardly able to pay back their borrowed production money.

Under the program, Baungon's corn farmers will be supported by the LGU with tractor and harvest facilities, seeds and farm inputs on low-interest supervised loans payable after harvest.

At harvest time when farm gate prices fall, the MinCOGGS will protect farmers by allowing them to dry and store their corn in the silos.

The farmer will be issued a Quedan paper indicating the volume of corn he deposited.

Using the deposited produce as collateral, farmers could make a cash advance based on the prevailing price.

When the price of corn goes up after peak harvest, the farmer could surrender his Quedan paper and get the balance based on the prevailing price.

The program is expected to protect farmers from ages of exploitation because of the absence of drying and storage facilities.

Baungon Mayor Giovanni Dahino will lead local officials and the town's farmers who will attend the forum tomorrow.

Representatives from the Development Bank of the Philippines, MinDA's banking partner, experts on silo operations and feed mill owners are expected to join the forum.

The Baungon Project will serve as the template of the interventions by MinDA to develop the corn industry of Mindanao.


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