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The Department of Agriculture (DA) CALABARZON, through its Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) and in coordination with the Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC), linked 14 of the largest feed millers in the region and four of the biggest associations and cooperatives of corn growers and producers in Cagayan Valley region by conducting a market matching on February 7, 2019 at Lipa Agricultural Research and Experiment Station (LARES) Training Room in Batangas.

“It is our goal at the DA to help you (buyers and suppliers) establish relationship and build beneficial and sustainable marketing agreement among parties, for us to ensure that products are available at the right volume, price, quality, and time,” Editha M. Salvosa, AMAD Chief, said.

Pedrito R. Kalaw, RAFC Chairman and Unified Batangas Hog Raisers, Inc. (UNIBAT) President, who also initiated this undertaking with other region, explained that corn production in the region, even though the DA is continuously optimizing its productivity and competency, will still not be enough to fulfill the requirements of the feed milling sector.

“The industry has to deal with the growing demand for corn both as food and animal feeds. As the population grows, the demand for poultry and hogs also increases. We need more than the corn imports under the minimum access volume. That is why we have to have this preparatory activity on a mutually-beneficial way,” he further explained.

Meanwhile, Edwin dela Rosa, Agriculturist II of AMAD Region II, presented the commodity volume and availability of corn growers and producers’ associations. It was showed that they can produce utmost 21,000 metric tons (MT) of corn and can commit/provide up to 1,500 MT at the outset.

It was a productive day where participants actively expressed their views and concerns. Towards the end of the meeting, they agreed on the following: AMAD of both regions will assist in the transaction; buyers in Region IV will directly deal with suppliers in Region II; suppliers will provide class A, quality yellow corn during dry season; fees will be charged to suppliers at more or less 10 centavos per kilo of corn; each feed mill will issue purchase order with specifications and terms of payment to supplier; and their initial transaction will start within the month.

Avelita M. Rosales, Regional Corn Coordinator and concurrent LARES Superintendent; and technical staff of the Regional Animal Feed Laboratory and Agricultural Program Coordinating Office in Batangas also supported the activity.

This also served as a venue for AMAD to interview and gather information of associations and cooperatives for profiling. • ARC