DA introduces hi-protein white corn as equivalent of cow’s milk
MARABUT, Samar – Poor families who can’t afford to buy milk can still consume calcium-rich foods as the Department of Agriculture (DA) introduces this year a hi-protein white corn variety, eyed as substitute for milk.
Early this year, the farm department establishes a six-hectare plantation in San Jorge, Samar devoted for production of quality seeds.
The community-based seed production system aims to produce 200 bags of certified corn seeds that will benefit 20,000 corn farmers in the region.
“Given the right management, each bag of corn seeds has a potential production of six to seven metric tons. Gross income will range from P72, 000 to P84,000 per hectare,” Brenda Pepito, corn program coordinator told reporters in a press briefing here.
Citing studies, Pepito said the hi-protein variety is an ideal substitute for milk because of its richness in calcium. The variety is also recommended as staple food for those inflicted with diabetes.
Pepito said that of the 200 bags of seeds produced in San Jorge, 148 bags have been distributed and planted so far in provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar, and Eastern Samar.
“Next year, we will double the production of seeds as we plan to expand to another six hectares of plantation,” she added.
The DA is pushing for higher preference of corn with the increasing per capita of rice in the region. From 113.10 kilograms annual rice consumption in 2008 to 2009, it went up to 127.24 kilograms in 2010. (SARWELL Q. MENIANO)
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