August 24-26, 2015 - Sikatuna Beach Resort, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro - Occidental Mindoro is known as the largest rice producer of MIMAROPA but this province is a leading corn producer in the Region as well. The MIMAROPA was awarded as the Best Regional Corn Team for producing the top province which is the Occidental Mindoro. As the Corn production strengthens in the different cities in the province, San Jose remained doubtful in planting corn and focuses on rice production.

Mr. Ruben Presilda, the chairman of the Seed Producers Cooperative of Occidental Mindoro (SEPCOM) requested for a training about corn production for the cooperative. As per Mr.Presilda his main goal in asking for this training aside from educating the members of his cooperative is to provide them with an alternative crop to plant when the dry season comes. DA-MIMAROPA immediately prepared for this training headed by Ms. Ma. Christine Inting, Regional Corn Coordinator and other corn staffs. The training was held in Sikatuna Beach Resort, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro last August 24-26, 2015. These 3 days training entitled “Basic Training on Open Pollinated Variety (OPV) Corn Seed Production and Certification for Seed Growers” has an objective of teaching farmers the basic things that is needed starting from the information all about corn until land preparation to post harvest production and seed certification.

The main speaker of this training is Mr.Bernabe S. Cia from the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB), Los Baños. Mr.Cia, discussed the developmental stages of corn, the economics that we can get from corn production, the varieties of corn, the preparation for seed production up to post harvest processing. After the discussion the farmers have a clear understanding of corn production. After Mr.Cia’s discussion Ms.AlrizzaZubiri, the municipal corn coordinator of San Jose discussed the different pests and diseases that can attack the corn. She also explained that the pests and diseases in corn and rice are almost the same. Lastly, Ms. Helen Almazan, the chief of the National Seed Quality Control Service-Bureau of Plant Industry (NSQCS-BPI) in Occidental Mindoro discussed the mechanics, policies and guidelines of seed certification. She provided the farmers with the guidelines needed if they wanted to be a seed breeder and she also explained that this training is one of the requirements for the seed certification.

After the discussion a practicum and a post-test were given to the farmers to make sure that they have gained enough knowledge and to know if they are equipped enough to start their own corn production. A total of 18 farmers completed the training and received a certificate of completion. After all the discussions, Ms.Inting provided the farmers with AgriPinoy Corn Programs that they may avail from the Department of Agriculture to start their corn production. The training ends with a Social Program that let the attendees enjoy and have fun.

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