Farmers receive P54.3 M farm equipment from DA

Some 31 farmers’ associations in the Bicol region have received P54.3 million worth of farm machineries from the Department of Agriculture (DA) under its Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) program.

Rodel Tornilla, DA Bicol regional director, said the farm machineries that were turned over to the farmers included 29 units of rice combine harvester worth P43.9 million; 7 units of riding type transplanter amounting to P8 million; 5 units of walk behind transplanter worth P1.6 million; and 8 units rice reaper worth P857,000.

Tornilla said the farm machineries were purchased under the RCEF P10 billion fund aimed at modernizing the farming system in the region.

He said that the initial 31 farmers’ groups were chosen from a total of 872 farmers’ associations already accredited by DA. Half of this or 380 associations are in Camarines Sur province.

Baldwin Jallorina, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (Philmech) national director, said that this is the first and partial distribution under the P5 billion mechanization component allocated to Philmech under the RCEF allocation.

The RCEF was created under RA 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law.

“Libre po ito (machineries). Sana gamitin natin nang wasto at huwag ipagdamot sa mga myembro ng asosasyon upang mapababa natin ang cost of production at mapataas ang ani at kita. Dahil sa tulong ng mga makinaryang ito, kahit 2 tao lang ay kayang gampanan ang mga gawain sa bukid. Mula ngayon, hindi na kayo maghapong nakayuko sa gawaing bukid,” Jallorina said.

“This is only the beginning of distribution of the machineries as RCEF will be implemented for at least six years,” Tornilla said.

Tornilla challenged the recipients to be role models in implementing the programs of the DA like farm consolidation and clustering, where the use of these farm machineries will be maximized.

He added that under DA Sec. Dar’s new paradigm, most of the DA interventions will be intended for clustered farmers and consolidated land areas.

“I hope that with your help, we will start embracing farm clustering and land consolidation,” he said.

Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Luis Villafuerte said that the only way that the Philippines will be at par with other countries is through mechanization and the distribution of machineries is one step ahead.

Rep. Garbriel H. Bordado, Jr., of the 3rd district of Camarines Sur, said that agricultural mechanization is the answer to the numerous problems besetting the agriculture sector today including the low contribution of the agriculture sector to the GDP in 2019 to 2020.

One of the recipients, Edward Yater, president of Buluang Communal Irrigators Inc. from San Vicente, Buhi, Camarines Sur, thanked the DA and Philmech for the machineries they received and hoped that Philmech will continue developing machineries for the Filipino farmers.