November 24, 2017


Philippine gov't urged to allow corn farmers to export



The Philippine government has been urged to allow farmers to export corn, a "viable option" when farm-gate prices are low.


The executive vice chairman of the National Corn Competitiveness Board (NCCB), Roderico R. Bioco, said there are times when there's need to export "a little bit as a reprieve and to stabilise local prices", according to a Business Mirror report.


Allowing farmers to export corn, he added, would prevent them from shifting to other high-value crops.


"Price is always a big signal to influence the planting intentions of farmers. [Exports] will really help a lot of farmers to go back to corn," Bioco was quoted as saying.


"In Bukidnon for instance, because of the low prices of sugar, this will prompt a lot of sugar farmers to plant corn", he added.


Asean market


He said the Philippines, for example, could export corn within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region, particularly Indonesia where its lean season for corn is usually the peak harvest season in the Philippines. "We can export to Indonesia at this time", Bioco said, adding, "Asean is something that would make our work easier because of the economic integration."


Currently farmers can export corn only after the National Food Authority (NFA) Council has certified that there is a surplus in corn production.


The Philippines is a pioneer in the cultivation of biotech corn, and is the only Asian country that has commercialised it.


It expects its corn output this year to increase 5.26% to 7.6 million tonnes from last year's 7.22 million.


Corn is used in the manufacture of animal feed by Philippine millers.