THE Department of Agriculture (DA) will promote sorghum planting next year to supplement the supply of animal feed, which is currently dependent on yellow corn, Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said on Monday.
Mr. Piñol said that the Sorghum Production Program (SPP), which will be led by the DA Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD), will be focused mainly in indigenous people’s ancestral domain areas, because sorghum grows easily in poor soil.
“The rapid growth of the poultry and livestock industries has increased demand for yellow corn, pushing prices up,” Mr. Piñol said.
“SAAD will distribute sorghum seeds, including fertilizers, to IP farmers, the value of which will be deducted from the proceeds after harvest to make the program sustainable,” he added.
Mr. Piñol noted that sorghum can be harvested three times a year because its roots can be left below ground while the above-ground parts are harvested, a regeneration strategy known as ratooning.
Last month, Mr. Piñol said that the DA hopes to promote sorghum to augment the supply of pig feeds after the banning the use of food waste from airports and seaports due to outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) in other countries.
“We also discussed growing other crops with good support from feed milling industry, and sorghum was one of those discussed. We will have a trial in Mindanao right away. The good thing about sorghum is that you can ratoon, which means when you harvest, you do not need to replant,” Mr. Piñol said after meeting representatives of the hog-raising industry. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio