CEBU CITY – Banking on the government’s corn production program, a farmers' association in the neighboring province of Siquijor is now preparing for the May cropping season for corn.
Members of the Blue Lagoon Farmers Association, a beneficiary of the Sustainable Corn Production in Sloping Areas (SCoPSA) project under the Corn Program of the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA-7), are now plowing their fields.
SCoPSA was introduced to the association in November 2019 in time for the second cropping or "pangulilang" season from November-December.
Technologies demonstrated to the farmers include soil erosion control and gully stabilization in combination with soil fertilization and improvement, such as contouring, buffer cropping system and crop rotation, among others.
In their 0.25-hectare SCoPSA area, the farmer-beneficiaries planted hybrid yellow corn, earning them during their last harvest some PHP17,410 in sales including their revenues from other crops such as sweet potato, water melon, okra and ampalaya.
By planting napier grass as hedgerow contour measures, the farmers earned an additional income of PHP4,000.
Vidal de la Peña, president of the association, said the project helped them learn new skills in farming.
"We never thought that a hilly area can still be utilized by planting corn. We were able to conserve the land," he was quoted as saying in the local dialect in a statement released by DA-7 on Tuesday.
Sherwin Dave Banglos, staff of DA-7's Provincial Agriculture Technology Coordination Office, said the project aims to supply the province with corn at an affordable price.
DA-7 said SCoPSA is not yet fully implemented as the expansion of area and planting are still ongoing.
The farmers are now expanding their land area to suffice the three-hectare requirement of the SCoPSA project.
The Provincial Agriculture Office is constantly monitoring the project and assisting the farmers technically.
SCoPSA is a project introduced by DA to enhance the productivity level of corn farmers through the promotion of a sustainable land use management that will enhance agricultural livelihood and restore ecological balance in sloping areas. (PNA)