MANILA, NOVEMBER 19, 2003 (STAR) By Ramon Ma. Epino - Corn farmer Arnulfo Lomo-os of Laak, Compostela Valley, Davao has produced 6.5 metric tons per hectare — during wet season yet — using Pioneer white hybrid 30W30 in his 22-hectare farm.

For that feat, sipag at tiyaga (industry and perseverance) coupled with the latest farming technology, he reaped another achievement. That of being chosen as one of the winners during the prestigious annual National Gawad Saka Award for Outstanding Farmers.

He was honored as the "Outstanding Corn Farmer of the Year."

The honor garnered for farmer Arnulfo a cash reward of P25,000. This cash prize is given, aside from the honor of being Gawad Saka farmer, to all winning farmers and farmer organizations who have been highly productive in their respective category for the year.

Agriculture Secretary Luis Lorenzo Jr. paid tribute to the local government units and their corn farmers in improving corn yields and urged them to continue making clear, measurable and specific programs for agriculture.

Now on its 33rd year, the "Gawad Saka" gives recognition to the huge contribution of farmers, fisher folk and their families to the country’s economic achievements. This as they pursue productivity with technologies and breakthroughs in agricultural modernization. The annual search for outstanding agricultural achievements began during the term of then President Corazon C. Aquino as embodied in her Proclamation No. 393 on May 21, 1989.

Model farmer Arnulfo Lomo-os says he "has been planting white corn for the last 25 years in his farm in the Municipality of Laak, Compostela Valley. I achieved my success in corn farming with white hybrid variety from which I got tremendous yield advantage over open-pollinated or traditional varieties."

Among hybrids, the 50-year old corn farmer prefers white hybrid over yellow hybrid as the former commands higher price than the latter. Arnulfo is a staunch believer in Pioneer Hybrid 30B29 and 30W30.

Hybrid 30W30 is distinguished for its flint snowy white grains and thick husk. Known to thrive both during wet and drought seasons and resistant to leaf rust and ear rot, it matures and bears fruits 105 to 108 days from planting. High milling and grit recovery rate — complimented with good eating quality — makes it most preferred by food processors.

His confidence, Arnulfo says, "in seed quality of the Pioneer corn varieties and yield performance is unyielding. I am truly grateful for the company and its knowledgeable crop of personnel in their drive to provide us farmers with excellent technical support and training in our province."

Explains Pioneer agronomy manager Tom Lugod: "Pioneer ensures that its farming technology solutions in hybrid corn are fully utilized by our customers for their own benefit. Our sales and agronomy teams reach out to the farthest corner of cornfield areas where crop management practices can be enhanced as we conduct orientations and training programs that are both appropriate and practical."

Compostela Valley is Davao region’s top corn producer, where output has risen to an average of 6.5 metric tons per hectare compared to the previous lowly 1.69 metric tons per hectare.

Pioneer Hi-Breed Philippines is a subsidiary of US-based Pioneer Hi-Breed International Inc.— a DuPont business — has been in the Philippines for 27 years now. During all these years, the company has been developing hybrid corn seeds for farmers across the country with traits that make corn plants better adapted to the soil, climate and biological environment in specific regions. That makes the firm the Philippine’s leading producers and distributors of top-quality hybrid corn seeds.

A long time beneficiary, Arnulfo is urging other corn tillers to adopt high-productivity technology and high-yielding hybrid corn in their own farming turf.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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