Zamboanga farmer grows 'rainbow corn'
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – A new variety of corn has been the talk of the town for appearing to be kissed by a rainbow.
The "rainbow corn", also known as glass-gem corn in Central America, was introduced in Zamboanga City by farmer and businessman Mark Basaluddin.
The 33-year-old started cultivating this variety of corn when he was assigned in Surabaya Province, Indonesia in 2012. Realizing its business potential, Basaluddin brought home a bag of seeds and started planting them in his farmland in Barangay Bolong in December 2016.
After 3 months, they were able to harvest the first fruit with corn kernels in different color combinations.
The corn, though colorful and inviting, taste like any other readily available in the market.
According to Basaluddin, he bought the 25-kg bag of seeds from an Indonesian merchant for $300 (P14,847). This is enough to fill one hectare.
“As of now, wala pa kaming nabebenta. Base sa tanong ko sa Indonesia, pag kinonvert from dollars, tag P80-P100 kada isa. Sobrang mahal,” the farmer told Rappler.
(As of now, we haven't sold anything yet. Based on the price in Indonesia, it should be around P80-P100 each. That would be too expensive.)
Right now, they are replanting the same variety of corn in his farm and expecting to harvest in late August or early September.
Starting at the age of 15, Basaluddin mastered the art of innovative farming by himself. Just recently, he was also able to harvest a 50-kg cassava.
Basaluddin is also the chairman of Canelar Barter Trading Center where goods from neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia are usually displayed. He is also the vice president of Zamboanga City Farmers Association. – Rappler.com
Jieven Santisteban is a Rappler Mover and Campus Journalist. He is also a writer for JourKnows.
*$1 = P49.49