March 2, 2005


Hydrid corn to be produced by Philippine feed millers


In Batangas province, south of Manila in the Philippines, feed millers, egg producers and hog/cattle raisers have agreed to invest in production of hybrid corn.


In light of erratic corn supply that has led to rising prices of pork and poultry products ,  they plan to plant 1,391 hectares of land to hybrid corn.


Batangas is the Philippines' main source of poultry products and one of the top five suppliers of pork. It uses 1.5 tons of corn a day to produce feeds.


About half of the corn supply comes from as far as the northern province of Isabela; the distance increases the cost of the feed.


"If the 8,000 hectares of vacant land in the entire province is planted with corn, the price of pork and poultry products will not be as high," said Nicanor Briones, president of Limcoma Multi-Purpose Cooperative.


Briones estimated that producing corn locally could reduce the price of corn by at least P1 a kilogram, which would translate to significant savings.


Corn production has not kept up with demand, according to data from the Department of Agriculture. Pork production grew 11.2 percent from 1995 to 2004, but corn production went up only three percent.