By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao

The Department of Agriculture (DA) Western Visayas began a varietal suitability trial in Capiz. Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter spearheaded the ceremonial planting of sorghum in the DA’s Research Outreach Stations (ROS) located in Malapad, Cogon, Sigma, and in Astorga, Dumarao last January 4.

Sorghum is believed to be a substitute ingredient for raw animal feeds. The crop is a drought-tolerant, hardy, easy-to-propagate, and rich in protein. Recoter explained that the demo farms will help determine if sorghum is convenient to grow in the province.

Other varietal trials will also be established in other research stations across the region within the month.

The trial in Capiz is a step to follow in Secretary Manny Piñol’s call to develop sorghum as an alternate source for livestock and poultry feeds.

Late last year, Sec. Piñol launched the National Sorghum Development Program (NSDP) where farm co-operators will be tapped to assist the research stations in planting sorghum in target areas. The NSDP will also link farmers to feed millers and institutional buyers.

Indigenous people and other farmers who want to go into sorghum production are the beneficiaries of the NDSP.

The NDSP will be implemented by the DA’s Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) beginning this year. The program is eyeing to propagate sorghum in the areas of Tapaz, Jamindan, and Dumarao. It will be supporting farmers through their developments.