Farmer-members of MMM use the local corn sheller machine to process their harvested corns

Maralitang Magsasaka ng Mindoro (MMM), a corn-producing farmers’ association based in Brgy. Conrazon, Bansud, Oriental Mindoro was provided with a corn sheller machine by DOST-MIMAROPA to help in speeding up the process of separating corn kernels from corn cobs with minimal impurities. The equipment, locally known as thresher was turned over to the association last February 11, 2022.

The said corn sheller was locally fabricated and designed by Red Gate Farm Supplies, one of DOST-MIMAROPA’s assisted beneficiaries of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).  The equipment, based on the performance tests conducted, can process two (2) sacks of dried corn hearts with husk in three (3) minutes with minimal impurities. Compared to other available corn shellers which can only process corn with cob, this locally designed equipment can separate corn kernels, cobs, and husks simultaneously.

Locally designed and fabricated corn sheller machine by DOST-MIMAROPA assisted beneficiary, Red Gate Farm Supplies

Before the intervention, the association outsources a third-party service provider for corn shelling which tops up the post-production costs. Farmers used to pay an individual Php 50.00 per sack to manually remove corn husks before the shelling and an additional Php 15.00 per 10 kilograms of shelled corn for the rental fee for the machine. A high volume of impurities such as shredded husks and cobs were observed when using the rented corn sheller. Removing these impurities requires the use of an additional blower which also adds up to the production expenses of farmers.

With the provision of the locally fabricated corn sheller, members of the association are now able to thresh corn faster with minimal impurities and lesser production costs. MMM plans to offer its corn shelling services to its members and other local farmers in the municipality at a cheaper but competitive price.

“Labis po kaming nagpapasalamat at walang mapagsidlan ang aming tuwa at hindi po kami makapaniwala sa ganda ng tresher (corn sheller), malinis at may kalidad na magagamit namit sa pag-aani ng aming mga mais. Taos puso po kaming nagpapasalamat sa DOST-MIMAROPA sa makabagong teknolohiya na inyong pinagkaloob sa aming sa association,” Rachel Esguerra, MMM Secretary, said.

DOST-Oriental Mindoro personnel, MMM officers and members, and Red Gate Farm Supplies owner and equipment fabricator show clean corn kernels after passing through the equipment

Aside from the equipment, members of the association also received coaching on the operation and maintenance of the equipment.

An additional corn drying machine is being fabricated by Red Gate Farm Supplies and is expected to be accorded to the group in the first quarter of 2022. The corn drying machine is part of DOST-MIMAROPA’s technology assistance to the association to improve its livelihood.