By MELODY M. AGUIBA
A value chain peanut program has tied up with East West Seed Co., Puentespina of Davao, and Sorsogon Dairy Farm as part of a national aim to boost peanut production value to P317 million by 2014.
The national peanut program led by the Cagayan Valley Integrated Agricultural Research Center (CVIARC) has started partnering with government and private institutions that are now generating results in increased seed production and peanut processing activities.
“We now have partner-producers of Asha and Namnama peanut varieties in Mindanao and Bicol region which we at Region 2 (Isabela, Cagayan province) supplied with foundation seeds and registered seeds. East West has officially signified interest to venture on confectionery peanut seed production in Mindanao,” according to CVIARC Peanut Leader Rose Aquino.
The peanut project of CVIARC, co-funded by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research, believes that an effective seed system will be key to raising the country’s peanut production.
“Seeds must be available for every crop production cycle, and it has to be there at the right time, in right quantities, and qualities and right price,” said Aquino, quoting seed authorities Gregg and Van Gastel. “Any attempt to develop the peanut industry must seriously consider a sustainable seed support system.”
The project’s target is to raise peanut value to P298 million, 4,966 hectares in 2013 and P718 million, 11,966 hectares in 2020. The 2014 target area is 5,966 hectares. It is targeting to raise the country’s peanut production value to a projected P238 million in 2012 from a value of only P80 million yearly.
CVIARC has already harvested peanut seeds over three cycles since 2008.
The first cycle ending April 2009 generated 35,000 kilos of registered seeds, worth P2.1 million, P60 per kilo; second cycle ending October 2010, 300,000 kilos of certified seeds, P15 million, P50 per kilo; and third cycle ending April 2011, 2.5 million kilos of registered seeds, P75 million,P30 per kilo.
On the marketing side, the peanut program has partnered with Alcala Peanut Food Processing which serves as a market outlet of peanuts produced in Alcala, Cagayan and with R.B. Chua Trading which buys 400 to 500 MT of peanut per year.
R.B. Chua distributes shelled and pre-graded seeds to food processors in Metro Manila like Tobi Marketing Inc, Newborn Food Products Inc., Marygold Commodities Corp., and California Mft Co. Inc. R.B. Chua is capable of buying all of Cagayan province’s peanut production of 1,800 MT per year.
DA CVIARC has also established the Agri Store which distributes 10 to 15 MT of certified seeds yearly. It assembles and distributes these seeds throughout the country.
CVIARC has other partners in processing. Jones Local Government Unit (LGU) Peanut Processing processes two to three MT of peanut per month. Jones LGU has other partners through the Barangay Women Association of peanut food processors assisted by the Department of Science and Technology.
CVIARC’s partner in seed production are the Cagayan Valley Legumes Seed Growers Assn which supplies certified seeds and the Lighthouse Cooperative which produces five to 10 MT of peanut per month. Lighthouse also supplies seeds to peanut food processors in Cagayan. It also serves as assembler and distributor of processed products with brand Tia “Nani.”
Good seeds have raised the average net income of peanut farmers in Region 2.
Average net income is now at P31,770 per hectare, already about double the income of peanut farmers prior to the introduction of good seeds like Asha and Namnama. The Jones town in Isabela achieving the highest average net income of P44,500 per hectare as it achieved a peanut yield of 2.5 MT per hectare, way above some farmers’ average of just one MT per hectare.
The program has so far benefited a total of 36 accredited seed growers and 651 commercial producers.