A fourth class municipality in the province of Isabela, Burgos is known for its competitive corn farming industry. As a top corn-producing area, the municipal government maintains high standards for productivity to ensure self-sufficiency for its total population of around 24,000.
In its aim to become self-reliant and highly competitive, Burgos has launched development programs in cooperation with the local corn farmers and other stakeholders. These programs have, thus far, enabled Burgos to produce quality corn for human consumption, feeds, and industrial uses while giving way to improved income and quality of life for its farmers.
In particular, the local government unit (LGU) of Burgos enhances corn production through research and extension, human resource development, repair and maintenance of farm-to-market roads, and environmental development. The LGU has also provided corn producers with farm production and post-harvest equipment, irrigation facilities, access to credit and financing, and support to the development of their institutional capabilities.
Through its Corn Cluster Development Plan for 2013-2017, two corn clusters were established in Burgos, covering four and three barangays, respectively. These clusters are aiming for increased average corn productivity—from 1.5 metric tons per hectare to 5 metric tons per hectare. Through the collective efforts of these clusters, the municipality is able to produce quality corn, decrease post-harvest losses by 5 percent, and enhance technology transfer for its corn-based farming system. They were also able to improve linkages with relevant national government agencies and the private sector.
Burgos has a total corn production area of around 1,150 hectares and, to maximize these, the municipality adopts three cropping periods annually. At present, the average yield of these areas reaches about 5.3 metric tons per hectare.
These milestones of the municipal government have garnered the major prize in the National Quality Corn Achievers Awards in 2016. The recognition highlighted Burgos’ compliance with administrative requirements, budget allocation for corn programs, presence of corn road map, deployment of agricultural extension workers per cluster, and enumeration of corn-related development projects and activities. The municipality also received high marks for its compliance with Philippine National Standards for quality and safety of corn grains produced and conformance to quality premium grade standards.
With its vast resources, clear directions, and capable stakeholders, Burgos’ corn industry is sure to reach greater heights ahead. (with reports from Kristine Marie Bernadette Montes)