SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) said on Monday that its unit San Miguel Foods, Inc. has procured 1.3 million metric tons (MT) of corn valued at P23.9 billion directly from farmers since the launch of its buying program in 2020.

“Through this program, we are assured of local corn supply for our food business while our farmers are guaranteed a steady market and fair prices for their crops,” SMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang said in a statement.

Mr. Ang said the group is actively trying to boost farm incomes, reduce dependence on imports, and help achieve food self-sufficiency.

The program covers 13 provinces where corn is grown, with San Miguel planning to expand its sourcing next year.

During the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020, the company bought over 500,000 MT of corn. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera