DALWANGAN, Malaybalay City (Aug. 25, 2020) — Ten farmer-cooperative associations (FCAs) in Bukidnon have received P41.5 million worth of agri-machinery units from the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech) on August 18, 2020.
The activity was held at Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC), Dalwangan, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
DA-RFO 10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado and Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga with DA-PhilMech Head Facility Management and Field Operations Division Joel V. Dator led the turnover and awarding of certificates to FCAs.
Said FCAs coming from the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia and the municipalities of Impasugong, San Fernando, Cabanglasan, Quezon, Pangantucan and Kalilangan availed the machinery units, which include four-wheel drive tractor, float-assist tiller, rice precision seeder, walk-behind transplanter, four-wheel riding-type rice transplanter, rice reaper, rice combine harvester and mobile rice mill.
The Public Affairs, Information and Assistance (PAIA) Division of the office of the Provincial Governor in a statement identified the FCA beneficiaries as San Martin North Main Canal Irrigators Association, Inc., Capuna Irrigator’s Association, San Juan – Impasugong La Fortuna Irrigators Association Inc., Nala Irrigators Association, Inc., Cabanglasan Net Working Community Association Inc., Veterans’ Plan Irrigators Association Inc., Araneta Farmers Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association. Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Combenio Saranay Muti-Purpose Cooperative, Pangantucan Rice Producers Association (PRPA), Incorporated, and Bagong Buhay Riceland Farmer Irrigators’ Association Inc.
RED Collado emphasized that the first batch of distribution of PhilMech mechanization program is 40 percent of the 2019 budget, while the 60 percent amounting to P152.8 million is under procurement phase and may be distributed within the year which will benefit around 38 FCAs.
The first batch of mechanization program in Region 10 has a budget of P103.7 million.
Rice mechanization is one of the components of Republic Act No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law, which stipulates the creation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) that would be funded from rice tariffs collections, with P10 billion allocation annually from 2019 to 2024 or a period of six years.
DA-PhilMech Director Baldwin G. Jallorina, in his written message, said ‘Farming and fishing are the main economic activities of the region. Kaya nararapat lamang na bigyan natin ng priority ang rehiyon na ito na may malaking kontribusyon sa food security ng bansa.”
Mechanization component of the RCEF aims to improve rice production in the country thru mechanization that would reduce production and postharvest losses up to 20 percent and eventually increase production.
Based on PhilMech study, postharvest losses for rice is at 16.47 percent from harvesting, piling, threshing, drying, milling, and storage.
Of the total amount, P5 billion was allocated for mechanization of rice farms, P3 billion for provision of high-yielding inbred rice seeds, P1 billion for credit support, and P1 billion for extension support and education of rice farmers.
The province of Bukidnon contributes around 50-60 percent of rice sufficiency in the region with 98,000 hectares of the rice harvest area.
“With these new machineries, we can prepare our lands faster and reduce costs in land preparation,” said Eriberto Bangis, President of San Juan Impasugong La Fortuna Irrigators Association, Inc. in Impasugong, Bukidnon.
He added that the most important help the program will provide to the group is ultimately an increased income for the association and its members.
Bukidnon 4th District Representative Rogelio Neil P. Roque appealed to the FCAs to take care of the agri-machinery units and to graduate from government’s dependence so that other farmers can avail of the programs and projects.
The schedule of turnover of machinery to FCAs in the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte in the region is set for completion this month. (Angelilah T. Cabig/DA 10/PIA Bukidnon/Mel B. Madera)