CORN FARMERS in the Cagayan Valley and the Cordilleras will receive training in sustainable farming practices like climate-smart soil management and regenerative agriculture.

Project SIBOL is organized by Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) and Syngenta Philippines, Inc. and hopes to reach 20,000 farmers.

“Corn is one of the most significant crops in the country but productivity in the region has been hampered by problems related to intensive farming practices, leading to significant soil erosion and degradation. Named after the Tagalog word for sprout, growth, or germinate, Project SIBOL aims to help farmers… improve productivity and double their corn yields within the next three years from current levels of four metric tons per hectare,” ASSIST said in a statement.

The program will establish two pilot farms, in which farmers will employ sustainable technology and practices. The pilot farms will be located in Isabela and Ifugao, for replication in other corn-growing areas around the Philippines.

“Farming should not only be profitable but sustainable as well, as the existence of our growing global population depends on it. The SIBOL project will bring better soil health, yield, and income to the farmers of Cagayan Valley, and for the Philippines, greater food security and climate resilience,”  Syngenta Philippines Business Sustainability Manager Ruby Eduarte said.

“As our population continues to grow, food scarcity and security are becoming an unavoidable problem. We believe that SIBOL not only addresses these issues but also helps our farmers boost agricultural productivity and yield in a sustainable manner while enhancing long-term soil health at the same time. Our farmers are faced with numerous challenges. They don’t have to face these challenges alone,” ASSIST Executive Director Francis Macatulad said.

Project SIBOL was created with the assistance of Ifugao State University; Isabela State University; various municipal Agricultural Offices; Bureau of Soils and Water Management, and local government units. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson