October 2, 2008


Philippine '09 corn output could rise 10-15 percent


Philippine corn production could rise 10-15 percent from this year's projected output of 7 million tonnes.


An industry official said that Philippine production of corn in 2009 could rise around 10 to 15 percent from this year's projected output of 7 million tonnes, if export plans go ahead as planned.


Roger Navarro, president of the Philippine Maize Federation, Inc. or Philmaize, said domestic prices are expected to improve substantially if plans to export corn are realized.


Navarro said this could encourage farmers to plant more of the crop and use higher-yielding farm technologies. The price of corn in the global market is currently in a range of PHP16-PHP18 a kilogramme, while the government's recently-approved domestic buying support price is just PHP11.50/kg.


Navarro said even if the same number of hectares were maintained, there is scope to increase productivity by reducing post-harvest losses and increase yield by using hybrid varieties.


According to Navarro, industry leaders, along with the Department with Agriculture, are now in talks with potential buyers from South Korea and Taiwan on possible exports of corn.


He said that exports next year could reach up to 100,000 tonnes, adding that trial shipments could begin by November this year.


Navarro also said that Korean buyers, led by the Korean Overseas Grains Investment and Development Co, are also keen on putting up their own post-harvest facilities as well as a grains terminal in the country.


Corn production in 2008 is projected to reach 7 million tonnes, up 4 percent from a year earlier.

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