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DAR delivers P1-M worth of farm machinery

By Danica Caballero

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Agrarian Reform in Bicol (DAR-5) has granted P1 million worth of flatbed dryers to 159 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who are members of the Pag-iribang Nagkakaisang Magsasaka (PNM) last February 26 in Pili, Camarines Sur.

In a statement, DAR-5 said the farm machinery would enable the corn farmers to deliver quality corn drying services during the rainy season.

“Pili produces a substantial percentage of the corn used in food and cattle feeds, and approximately 450 hectares of agricultural area are mainly devoted to corn production,” DAR-5 said.

DAR-5 added that corn producers in the area suffer big losses in income due to high cost of agricultural inputs as well as lack of farm mechanization.

The agency hopes to help reduce such losses with the provision of the farm equipment to the ARBs.

On the other hand, PNM president Arturo Bismonte thanked the department for the new flatbed dryers with agitators and promised that the equipment would be properly maintained. He also urged members to actively participate in and support all of the organization's current and future initiatives in order to sustain their benefit to them.

"We are home to the largest ARBs and land granted by DAR in our area, totaling over 100 hectares of arable land," Bismonte said. "I urge every PNM member not to misuse the assistance and opportunities provided by DAR and other line agencies. Let’s manage it well so that they can see that we don’t waste their projects." .

For his part, Renato C. Bequillo, OIC-provincial agrarian reform program officer, reminded the local farmers to maintain farm equipment and tools in good working order so that more corn farmers can use them and maintain high crop yields.

According to him, there was a strong demand for corn used in both human and animal food.

"Post-harvest technology, such as the flatbed dryer, will boost sales of high-quality corn, hence increasing the farmer’s income," Bequillo said. (PIA5/ Edlyn Buara, Bicol University intern, contributed to this report)


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