DA in talks with Korean, Malaysian firms for yellow corn exports
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MANILA - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is in talks with Korean and Malaysian companies for the possible export of Philippine yellow corn.
“Both of the countries have been importing 95 percent of their corn from the US. It would be a logistical advantage for us," said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.
Corn prices in the world market trade for the equivalent of P18 per kilo, higher than the local buying price of P15-P16.
The corn industry expects to meet its production target of 7.8 million metric tons this year, with bumper harvest expected in provinces unaffected by Typhoon Pablo.
The government had aimed for 98 percent self-sufficiency in the staple in 2012, thus the importation of 179,000 metric tons last year.
For 2013, the government intends to increase corn yield to 8.4 million metric tons, allowing the country to enjoy a surplus of 149,000 metric tons.
To do this, the government is encouraging domestic consumption of ingredients for animal feeds.
“Our projection has always been reaching self-sufficiency. Lately, I see better option; not to dream about self-sufficiency, but to dream about exporting corn because we now have the capability,” Alcala said.
He said the National Food Authority (NFA) is deliberating on possible export of corn, noting that latest estimates showed production levels matching the feed requirements of livestock growers.
“At present, farmers are still enjoying good buying price,” Alcala said.
“But the next thing that will happen after hitting self-sufficiency is a drop in prices. If that happens, farmers will stop planting and we’ll be back to zero,” he added.