Wake Up, Philippines!

More farmers go for Bt corn

Posted in Agriculture, BT Crops, DA by Erineus on February 17, 2009

DON’T look now, but more and more farmers are planting Bt corn, the GMO or genetically modified corn variety that many anti-biotech people had been condemning. Last year, at least 200,000 small corn farmers planted and made money from Bt corn, planting some 350,000 hectares.

The fast increasing popularity of Bt corn with local farmers could be easily gauged by the fact that in 2005, only 10,000 hectares were planted to this transgenic crop. Last year, the figure increased 35 times.

One avid grower of Bt corn is a widow, 54-year-old Lydia Lapastora of Brgy. Yeban Norte, Benito Soliven, Isabela. She has been planting Bt corn since 2005 when the same was first allowed to be commercially grown in the country. Despite the admonition of the priest in her hometown, she planted Bt corn and is really glad she did.

Last year, Lydia planted Bt corn on 10 hectares and harvested an average of 6.4 tons per hectare. That’s almost double the average of 3.57 tons per hectare harvested by corn farmers nationwide. On the average, she realized an additional net profit of P11,000 per hectare as a result of planting Bt corn. Since she planted two times on the same area last year, she really made a significant income from this GMO

The Bt corn, by the way, is more profitable to grow because it does not require any chemical spraying against the very destructive corn earworm that damages a lot of corn crops. This resists corn attack because the gene of Bacillus thuringensis, a natural enemy of corn earworm has been incorporated in the transgenic corn. Chemical pesticides are not only expensive, they also poison the environment. That is why Bt corn is actually considered environmentally friendly.

Corn is the only genetically modified crop that is being commercially grown in the Philippines. In other countries like the United States, Brazil, China and India, millions of hectares are now planted to transgenic soybean, cotton, corn and a few other crops. Work is under way, however, on the development of transgenic papaya and eggplant. The potentials of transgenic crops are really great but adequate research and development funds are badly needed. So are the right policies of the government.

**** **** ****

FREE-RANGE CHICKEN SEMINAR IN DAVAO. There will be a seminar on raising Sunshine free-range chicken on Feb. 19, at 3 p.m. at the Grand Regal Hotel in Davao City. It will be conducted by Dr. Rey Itchon of Solraya Enterprises. Sunshine chicken is a fast-growing breed from France which grows fast and tastes like the native chicken. Email: info@solraya.com

Zac B. Sarian
Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/AGRI20090217148062.html

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2 Responses

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  1. dancingfarmer said, on March 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Ummm…not sure I believe that yield on the corn. Where are the independent and public records for others to confirm what you say??

  2. Blue Pill said, on April 13, 2010 at 3:11 am

    The development throughout this cycle is greatly influenced by a number of hormones, such as Lutenizing Hormone (LH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), testosterone and others. Finally, the matured sperm cells in the testis are non-motile and incapable of fertilization until they get to the epididymis for storage and distribution, where they undergo the final maturation to become motile and fully capable of fertilization. It should also be understood that, though the adult testis is located in the scrotum behind the testis, it actually develops, during fetal life, in the abdomen and only descends to its final position just before birth.


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