By Bonita L. Ermac

ILIGAN CITY ~~~ The Department of Agriculture in Northern Mindanao has turned-over an amount of Php7.5 million worth of Village-type corn processing postharvest facility to the local government of Impasugong in the province of Bukidnon, June 20.

Department of Agriculture-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado turned over the processing facility to Impasugong Mayor Anthony A. Uy located in barangay Poblacion, which are composed of a P5 million Village-type dryer and a P2.5 million dryer shed.

The Village-type dryer includes two units corn on cob dryer with 20 metric tons capacity; one unit corn sheller with 6 metric tons per hour shelling quality; one unit recirculating batch grain dryer with 12 metric tons holding capacity; and multi-fuel biomass furnace, bagging bin, among others, said Collado.

Likewise, the Dryer shed has a floor area of 375 square meters that can fully accommodate the dryers, sheller, furnace, and other accessories.

Impasugong has corn cluster with an estimated area of 2,200 hectares of agricultural land devoted to corn with around 500 corn farmers, with an average annual production of 18,000 metric tons.

Impasugong Municipal Agriculture Officer Roan R. Fernandez said the mechanical dryer could greatly help small corn farmers in their area and nearby municipalities, especially on the onset of rainy season.

“Dako ug ikatabang ang mechanical dryer ngadto sa mga small corn farmers sa among area ug sa duol nga dapit labi na nga ting-ulan”.

Meanwhile, Johnny Chavez, the town’s committee chair for Agriculture and Fisheries who is also a corn farmer, said that hrough this postharvest facility, we can regulate selling our corn produce, which could greatly benefit small corn farmers like me. We can sell it, commanding a good price without worrying that our produce will be stocked and damaged, he said in a dialect.

“Dili nami mapugos ug baligya sa among mga mais tungod kay naa na man mi’y pasilidad nga makabenepisyo ug dako ang mga mag-uuma sama nako. Maka-apas nami sa insaktong presyo sa mais ug dili nami mabalaka nga mapundo among mais”.

Corn farmers can now attain 14 to 15 percent moisture content with the existence of the facility to competitively benefit the corn-buying price in the locality at P14.40 per kilogram.

PhilMech records postharvest losses of corn at 7.18 percent from harvesting, piling or hauling, shelling, drying, and storage.

“This postharvest facility will definitely help reduce postharvest losses in corn since farmers can immediately dry, shell and store their produce,” Collado concluded.