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Philippines’ most competitive city cited as outstanding corn achiever

By Jason B. Neola

NAGA, a multi-awarded city, which is also the Philippines’ Most Competitive Component City for years 2015 and 2016, has achieved another triumph in the field of agriculture when it was adjudged the country’s Outstanding Corn Quality Achiever-City Category for this year.

What made this development even more celebratory, aside from receiving the award for 3 consecutive years since 2014, is that 3 more awards were received by the city government from the search which is being conducted under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture: the Outstanding City Agriculturist, the Outstanding City Corn Coordinator and the Outstanding Agricultural Extension Worker.

It was also the third time that City Agriculturist Maria Edna Bongalonta was conferred with the award along with CAO’s Corn Technician Benedicto Heraldo who has been named Outstanding Agricultural Extension Worker from year 2014 to 2016. Named Outstanding City Corn Coordinator is Engr. Menandro Calingacion.

The 4 national awards (with that of the city government, included), were received on November 16, this year, in Koronadal City in South Cotabato nine days after the CAO awardees received the same titles in the regional competition held last November 7, 2016 at the Villa Caceres Hotel here.

CAO Corn Technician Heraldo said that this [year] might be the last time the city government will compete in the Search for Outstanding Corn Quality Achievers as it now joins the competition’s Hall of Fame after it was adjudged winner for three consecutive times, from 2014 to 2016.

A prize of P1M worth of projects was received by the city government along with trophy in the awarding rites held in Koronadal City. As regional winner, Naga received a reward of P40,000 and a trophy. CAO employee-awardees also received cash prizes during the awarding ceremonies in the regional and national level.

Bases for the Department of Agriculture in citing the city government, the City Agriculturist, the CAO’s corn technician and corn coordinator as outstanding corn achievers:
• For strengthening the capability of the communities to produce export quality corn
• For strengthening the operations of Corn Cluster in the barangays
• For the continuous conduct of training/seminar on corn good agricultural practices (GAP) in the barangays
• For assisting the corn farmers in Barangay Panicuason the establishment and operationalization of the first GAP-corn certified farm in the whole of Bicol Region
• For helping other corn farmers to establish GAP corn farms.

CAO data showed that corn farmers in the city have achieved an increase in corn production from year 2011 to 2015. The continuous growth in corn production has provided them with a total production of 2,753.5 metric tons in 2011 to 12,101.30 metric tons in 2015.

The document also showed that the average yield data had gradually increased from 4.24 in 2011 to 5.04 tons in 2013. In 2014, however, the average yield decreased as compared to previous year because of typhoons Glenda and Amang but the decrease does not affect considerably the production due to the expansion of corn area in 2014.

In 2015, good weather condition has helped the farmers to achieve an average yield of 5.4. The good corn yield can also be attributed to the planting of high yielding GMO corn hybrid.