SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – As the dry cropping season starts, the Department of Agriculture hastened the turn over of a total worth of P33,654,432.00 of farm machineries and postharvest equipment to farmers associations regionwide.
DA Bicol Regional Executive Director said she directed the immediate mass distribution of equipment and machineries to aid farmers in their land preparation, harvesting and portharvest works. She also engaged the banner programs to conduct a monthly turn over and distribution of farm machineries to farmer recipients.
The Rice Program headed by OIC RTD Rodel Tornilla turned over 4 units rice transplanter to four farmers organizations and 43 units hand tractor to 43 farmers organizations, totaling P6,564,000.
The Corn program headed by Lorenzo Alvina, regional program coordinator, turned over P24,645,000 worth of machineries consisted of 5 units Four Wheel Drive Tractor, 2 units corn combine harvester, 5 units mechanical corn sheller, 2 units mobile corn dryer, and 3 units corn mill to 14 farmers’ organizations.
The Organic Agriculture (OA) Program led by its focal person Adelina A. Losa turned 1 unit power tiller worth P230,000 to the provincial local government unit of Albay. Albay Provincial Agriculturist Cheryl Rebeta personally received the machinery.
Under the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) led by regional program coordinator Rosita Imperial, a total of P2,215,432 worth of farm equipment were turned over to farmers’ organizations. Equipment distributed were 6 units power sprayer to six cooperatives and vegetable growers associations; 4 units power tiller to 4 farmers organizations; 14 units water pump to 14 farmers groups; and 2 units cacao grinder to two farmers organizations.
Dr. Edgar R. Madrid, RTD for Research and Regulations urged the recipients to prepare a guideline on the use of the farm machineries and equipment to maximize its and use and ensure that all members of the association will avail of its services. He added that the DA is distributing these machineries to farmers groups only as the limited funds of the agency will not suffice to provide said machineries to individual farmers.
After the turn over, there were demonstrations on the use of the small equipment. Prior to the mass distribution, the banner programs have already conducted some training on the maintenance and use of big machineries particularly the combine harvester and 4 wheel drive tractor. (Lovella P. Guarin)