Corn Trash to Cash: AEWs and Farmer Leaders Train on Corn By-Products Utilization and Processing

TABUK CITY, KALINGA. After harvest, corn husks, cobs, stalks and stubbles are usually considered as farm waste. In most cases these are either burned or left to rot in the farm. Many farmers prefer burning corn waste which poses health and environmental hazards to people.

One of the measures being promoted by the Department of Agriculture to address this growing concern is the processing of corn waste. This strategy aims to address the environmental and health hazards caused by the burning of corn waste and can also serve as additional source of income for the farmers. In support to this advocacy the ATI-CAR conducted the training course on corn by-products utilization, processing and packaging for corn and cassava program implementers and farmer leaders.

During the training the participants were taught on the post-harvest handling and quality maintenance in corn and the concepts and principles of corn products and by-products utilization. The participants also learned about the requirements of feed formulation utilizing corn waste products for livestock and poultry. After the lectures and discussions a practicum on feed formulation particularly on silage and feeds formulation for livestock and poultry as well as corn husk processing was also conducted.

The training was attended by 40 participants composed of 11 agricultural extension workers (AEW) and 29 farmer leaders from the corn-producing municipalities of Apayao, Mt. Province and Kalinga. Mr. Edwin Dicksen, the project officer of the training, in his overview during the opening program emphasized that the AEW participants are expected to teach their farmer-clientele regarding the various ways of utilizing and processing corn by-products. The farmer leaders, on the other hand, are expected to apply the lessons they learned from the training in their own farms to further convince other farmers to do the same.

Mr. Antonio Santiago, a farmer leader from Romualdez, Rizal, Kalinga commended the training. He said, “I appreciated how the training management facilitated this training. I have learned a lot especially on the end-product of corn husks.” He further recommended that the same training be conducted in their own barangay for them to convert corn husks into cash. The training was held at TAMPCO Inn and Training Center in Tabuk City, Kalinga on September 12-14, 2017. (By Bongbong L. Buli-e with reports form Edwin C. Dicksen)