The government of El Salvador guarantees production and supply of corn

The Government of El Salvador yesterday launched the High Yield Corn Cultivation Project, through which it seeks to double the productive capacity of national cultivation fields and guarantee self-sufficiency of this grain.

The bet also aims to combat the vulnerability of white corn for mass consumption to climate change and integrate the production chain with high technological standards as well as human resources.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), the National Center for Agricultural and Forestry Technology (Centa), the National School of Agriculture (ENA), the Institute of Agrarian Transformation (ISTA), and Atider, an agricultural consulting service and rural development organization of Mexican origin,

«We want not only to be self-sufficient but also to export. Now that a world crisis is looming, our president, Nayib Bukele, is going to meet us to protect Salvadoran families,» said the Vice Minister of Agriculture, Óscar Guardado.

The project consists of two phases. In the first, which began yesterday, an estimated 150 professional agronomists, most of them graduates of the ENA, attended a series of theoretical training sessions given by experts from the Mexican company, who will later put into practice in a field of 15 blocks from Centa San Andrés, in San Juan Opico, the sowing of the first experimental crop.

«Producing high-yield corn means becoming self-sufficient in our consumption, being able to generate a strategic reserve to maintain prices, and, from the third year onwards, we will be able to be an exporting country of high-quality white corn,» said the deputy minister of agriculture.

For his part, the director of Centa, Edgardo Reyes, indicated that for this first impulse, the government has allocated an amount of $1.9 million, which, in addition to the training of human resources, implies the purchase of state-of-the-art agricultural machinery such as vacuum seeders , sprinklers, and soil leveling harrows, as well as the planting process, manuals, and purchase of supplies.

According to the official, the country currently produces an estimated three tons of white corn per hectare and, with this investment, plans to reach six tons per harvest on the same amount of land.

In general terms, the Centa spokesperson added that, at present, the demand for white corn in El Salvador is around 22 million quintals per year, while local production is 17.5 million quintals per year, which causes a dependency of more than 4 million quintals of imports, to satisfy the national demand.

In this first stage, it is also expected to harvest some 5,000 apples and gradually cover 30% of the national demand to achieve self-sufficiency.

In a second phase, through this project, the government hopes to expand production on a national scale and be able to export the grain.

«The idea is to transform our national production from three tons (white corn) per hectare to six. It is a challenge that we have all taken as something positive. We produce 78% (white corn) of national consumption and import 22%. It is about us being self-sufficient,» added Reyes.

With these indicators, MAG and its allies seek to increase national production and, in the medium term, convert white corn into an export product after doubling harvests throughout the national territory.

The government affirms that this program is an initiative that is aligned with the Cuscatlán Plan and the National Agricultural Policy.