NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
The Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh) has determined its measures to ensure the sustainability of food in the province of Bohol that aside from encouraging to plant hybrid rice at irrigated areas, it also expands the planted areas of corn and ponds for bangus production.
Governor Art C. Yap has encouraged the 12,786 corn farmers in the province to fully till the 16, 232.8 hectares (has.) of updated potential corn areas.
To date, Bohol has 6,243 has. existing corn areas scattered in the different municipalities that classified into clusters and non-cluster.
Gertrudes Fuentes, Chief-Crops and Productivity Division-Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) and RamilRodela of the same office bared that there 10 towns that composed the cluster category namely; Anda, Alicia, Danao, Sagbayan, Carmen, San Miguel, Dagohoy, Sierra-Bullones, Trinidad and Ubay; while the 38 non-cluster municipalities are Antequera, Balilihan, Bien Unido, Batuan, Buenavista, Bilar, Catigbian, Candijay, Clarin, Corella, Cortes, Dauis, Dimiao, Duero, Garcia-Hernandez, Guindulman, Inabanga, Getafe, Jagna, Loon, Mabini, Pilar, Pres. Carlos Garcia, San Isidro, Sevilla, Sikatuna, Talibon, Valencia, Maribojoc and Tagbilaran City.
Of the cluster towns, the municipality of Carmen has the largest existing corn areas with 701.21 hectares and has the potential corn area of 2,218 has., while for the non-cluster, the town of Valencia which has 650 has. existing areas and has 1,130 has. updated potential corn areas.
Of the 38 non-cluster municipalities there are eight of these namely: Alburquerque, Lila, Baclayon, Loay, Tubigon, Calape, Loboc and Panglaowith no corn technicians.
With regards to the stocks of corn in the province, last March during the harvesting period, Bohol had produced 2,723.57 sacks of corn grits that would only last for 7.96 days as the daily consumption of Boholanos of corn is 342 sacks.
Meanwhile, RemediosRegacho, Chief-Fishery Division, OPA disclosed that Bohol has 3,640 has. of existing total areas of bangus ponds located in Getafe, Talibon, Trinidad, Ubay, Bien Unido, Maribojoc, Loon, Calape, Tubigon, Inabanga, Candijay, Mabini, and Anda.
Regacho said that Gov. Yap has wanted to establish the clustered adjacent towns for bangus production that would comprise the areas of 1,000 hectares.
She said that the OPA has eyed the towns of Getafe, Talibon, Trinidad, Ubay and Bien Unido which are suitable areas for bangus production because of brackish water, the combination of fresh and sea waters.
Regacho disclosed that as of now,the provincial government has seven bangus hatcheries established in Sinandigan, Ubay; Lawis&Looc, Panggangan Island, Calape; Macaas, Tubigon; Cogtong, Candijay; San Francisco, Talibon; and in Taug, Lila but it could not suffice for the needed supplies of fingerlings.
Fuentes and Regacho said that the PGBh will help the farmers to avail of production loans from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
Leon Parac, Jr., Provincial Corn Coordinator said that the corn farmers are in need of farm machinery, post-harvest facilities, corn seeds (hybrid, conventional hybrid, open-pollinated variety) and fertilizers.
Parac said the province has corn seeds but not enough for the needed requirements among corn farmers.
The PGBh has only 443 sacks of which 243 from the supplemental budget and the 200 sacks from the regular budget purchases. (AtoyCosap)