About 40 participants joined the two-day training for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for Corn held at Sinoropan Elementary School, Vitali district, Zamboanga City recently.
The GAP training is conducted in coordination with the Office of the City Agriculturist through its field office.
According to Arben Madugo, Vitali District– Agriculture field officer, the existing corn area in Vitali covers approximately 200 hectares. Corn farmers usually do two to three croppings per year depending on variety used. Magdugo said corn is one of the priority commodities in Vitali as it is also one of the staple food aside from rice. “We are grateful for DA and this opportunity to enhance our farmer’s knowledge on the operations in corn production from site selection to post harvest activities. We hope that with the adaptation of the best practices, it would lessen production waste and increase corn output and also farmers’ income.”
DA Agricultural Program Coordinator (APCo) for ZC Arnulfo Estrada said that the GAP’s main focus is producing quality corn. “It is vital for corn farmers to learn the Corn GAP in order for them to practice the appropriate measures in the corn production to prevent contamination that are considered food hazards. This is also based on the safe standards formulated by DA and Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS) for the pre-production, production, harvesting and postharvest handling, and storage of corn.”
ZC Focal person for Corn Rhodora Alanquihan said that the GAP Corn trainings conducted by DA are intended for Farmer-Technicians and the other for Farmers. She said “we have conducted farmer-level GAP trainings in the corn cluster areas in Zamboanga del Sur. In the municipality of Dimataling last February, Guipos in March, Bayog and San Pablo in April. In ZC, we covered Vitali district. We are pleased with the response of the Vitali District Office in support of the program; corn farmers are patiently listening and willingly concerned to learn from our lectures on best practices.”
The training was attended by Asst City Agriculturist Teodulo Adora, DA Engr. Jury Abequibel, DA Soils Laboratory expert Valeria Tolomia, DA Feed Laboratory expert Mercita Herbano, and Sinoropan School Head Lilian Neota and some barangay council members. #