Philippines province prioritizes corn production for feed

Philippines province prioritizes corn production for feed

Photo by Terrence O'Keefe

In Davao Oriental province, the authorities are considering a proposal that will boost production of corn for animal feed and chicken meat.

With the aim of boosting self-sufficiency, the governor of a province in the southeastern corner of the island of Mindanao, Philippines, is supporting a proposal to boost local production of yellow corn.

In recent days, provincial governor Corazon Malanyaon has agreed to consider a proposal to expand corn production for animal feeds, according to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Proposed by the president of the poultry company Maharlika Agro-Marine Ventures Corp., Vicente T.  Lao, the plan aims to increase local corn production. Effects will be to reduce reliance on corn imports for the production of feeds for poultry, pigs and fish, as well as offering opportunities to improve the livelihoods of the local population.

Under the proposal, PNA reports, the provincial government will identify land suitable for corn production. This land will be leased by Maharlika to local people, to whom it will also supply machinery, seed and other key inputs to produce corn. Furthermore, the company has also undertaken to construct a feed mill, and to provide chicks, fee and loans to construct buildings for chicken production.

With this contract growing scheme, a government spokesperson said farmer participants would provide the labor to rear the birds.

According to Malanyaon, the plan will reduce the poverty rate in the province. At 32.7% in 2021, this was the second highest in the Davao Region.

The next stage, PNA reports, is for the Agriculture Office in Davao Oriental to assess the feasibility of the proposal.

Expansion in Philippines corn, chicken production

For this marketing year, the Philippines’ chicken production is forecast to be 1.373 million metric tons (mmt) — an increase of 2.2% from last year. This is according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in a report published in June.

In the Philippines, chicken represents the most produced animal protein. For comparison, domestic pork output is forecast at 1.01 mmt, aquaculture at 732,000 metric tons (mt), and eggs at 628,000 mt.

For the 12 months starting in July, FAS forecasts total corn production in the Philippines at 7.9 mmt. This continues a recent decline in harvest. Contraction from 8.35 mmt in 2020-21, and 8.20 mmt in 2021-22 is attributed by FAS to increased production costs such as fuel and fertilizers. As a result, farmers have cut back corn acreage, and yields have fallen.

Citing data from the Philippines Statistics Authority, FAS reports latest yellow corn output across the nation at 4.93 mmt (for July 2021 to March 2022). With 1.455 mmt, the Cagayan Valley in northeastern Luzon is the nation’s leading corn-producing region. Down in 12th position in the rankings is the Davao Region with 55,704 mt.

Mainly used for human food, white corn production in the Philippines was around 1.97 mmt for this same period. With output of almost 165,000 mt, Davao Region produced the fourth largest harvest of this commodity.