Friday, February 23

Sen. Villar leads corn hub groundbreaking

I-CORN COMPLEX Sen. Mark Villar (second from right) leads the groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed I-Corn Complex on Monday, Aug. 7, 2023, at Barangay Marana 1st, City of Ilagan, Isabela. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

BY LEANDER C. DOMINGO

CITY OF ILAGAN (August 9, 2023)—A one-stop shop agriculture commercial center for corn farmers called I-Corn Complex will be built here soon.

The P107 million allotted for the project will come from the budget of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office 2.

The I-Corn Complex, considered the first of its kind in the country, will house the processing and post-harvest facilities for feeds and food to ensure the quality of corn-based products.

On Monday, August 7, Sen. Mark Villar, who heads the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, and Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies, led the groundbreaking ceremony of the corn complex in Barangay Marana 1st in this city.

Jonabel Infante of the Office of the Regional Executive Director (RED) of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office in Cagayan Valley (DA-RFO2), said the I-Corn Complex will have a mechanical dryer with 150 metric tons per day capacity, multi-crop drying pavement, and truck scale, among others.

Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) comprises the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and the island province of Batanes.

Villar lauded the city government of Ilagan led by Mayor Josemarie Diaz and the DA-RFO2 led by Officer in Charge RED Rose Mary Aquino, including the support given at the national level for making the construction of the I-Corn Complex possible.

He said that once the I-Corn Complex facility is completed, the income and productivity of farmers will increase.

Villar said the facility is a symbol of progress, unity, and collective effort of the DA and Ilagan city government for the people of this city to harness the potential of the corn industry.

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“[This] will also demonstrate the commitment of Ilagan to invest in the future of farmers in ensuring their prosperity long in the future,” said Villar, ensuring his all-out support until the full benefits of the I-Corn Complex are realized.

Diaz said the facility will “catalyze positive change in the corn industry, elevating new standards and settling new precedence for excellence.”

During the event, DA Assistant Secretary for Operations Arnel de Mesa was represented by Rodolfo Panganiban, national program senior officer of Corn, who also lauded the DA-RFO 2 and Ilagan city government for their bid to come up with the I-Corn Complex project.

Panganiban assured that through the I-Corn Complex, the corn and livestock integration will be strengthened, and eventually address common problems in sourcing out feed materials and direct market linking issues.

Earlier, Aquino said the I-Corn Complex is a manifestation of the dedication of national and local government, particularly the Ilagan city government, in engendering interventions to corn farmers.

“This will boost the corn industry making the whole Cagayan Valley region as top corn producer in the country. Our farmers will benefit most from the project, uplifting their economic status as they become more productive,” she added.

Aquino was joined during the groundbreaking by Dr. Roberto Busania, DA-RFO2 OIC of Regional Training Division for Operations and Extension; Engr. Monico Castro Jr., Field Operations Division chief; Paul Vincent Balao, Corn program coordinator; and other national, regional and local government officials.