THE Cebu Provincial Government is looking to initiate the planting of hybrid corn, cassava and other crops in various towns as a way to promote sustainability and self-sufficiency in times of calamity.
The plan is part of the Province’s Enhanced Countryside Development (ECD) program, which aims to help residents of the Province become more food sufficient during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
Roldan Saragena, Provincial Agriculturist of the Capitol, said the planting of hybrid corn, cassava and white corn, as well as raising of livestock are just some of the many opportunities that the ECD program plans to bank on.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has pointed out that since the start of the pandemic, there has been a shortage of rice. This prompted the Province to outsource some of its rice supply from neighboring provinces in Central Visayas and some areas in Mindanao.
A meeting between farmers’ associations and financing firms in Cebu was held at the Capitol to discuss a possible solution to the issue.
During the meeting, Saragena said the demand for corn in Cebu Province is about 469,200 metric tons, but only 2,100 metric tons is produced, a shortage of 467,100 metric tons.
For cassava, the demand is 540,695 metric tons, but the province is able to produce only 16,211 metric tons, thus, a shortage of 524,483 metric tons.
The Provincial Information Office announced that the areas to be included in this planting initiative are a 6.5-hectare lot in San Remigio, 150 hectares in Bogo, 121 hectares in Medellin and 258 hectares in Daanbantayan.
For every hectare of land, authorities have estimated a production cost of P48,000.
However, this will possibly yield at least 5,000 kilos of corn, which can be sold at P14.50 per kilo, bringing sales to a total of P72,500.
Net income could be close to P24,500, with return on investment at 51.04 percent.
On the other hand, production cost for the planting of cassava is estimated to be at P49,710. Possible yield is 30,000 kilos, which can be sold at P3.50 per kilo, bringing total sales to P105,000.
Net income is at least P55,290, with return on investment at 111.23 percent.
Capitol officials said there are already guaranteed buyers of the produce as several big companies like San Miguel Foods Inc. have pledged to support.
To help farmers, the Province will also provide post-harvest facilities. The Province is also set to make an arrangement with local government units for technical assistance. / ANV / CBQ