SAN AGUSTIN, Pili, Camarines Sur—“You are no longer called beneficiaries but partners in agricultural development!”

This was the message of the Department of Agriculture-Bicol Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Dr. Edgar R. Madrid to the representatives of various cooperatives, farmers and irrigators associations, and local government units from the six provinces of the Bicol Region during the mass distribution of Farm Equipment and Agri-Inputs held on June 26, 2018 here.

Meanwhile, OIC-Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension Rodel P. Tornilla cited that at present, these equipment and inputs are in full grant. However, starting next year, the recipients will be paying in a form of a loan half the amount of the equipment. The remaining half will be subsidized by the office. The loan will have an interest of not more than 6% annually.

In 2020, all farm equipment and inputs will be procured by the interested association in cash or as a loan with a minimal interest. Moreover, the interested party can choose what brand of the equipment they want to purchase.

For the Corn and Cassava Program, three units of four-wheel drive farm tractors were distributed to the Cooperatibang Pampauswag Can Calabanga (CPCC), Tunay at Tapat Lahing Filipino Cooperative, and Cataingan Cassava Farmers’ Association. CPCC also received a corn combine harvester. Three units of mechanical corn sheller were distributed to MA-TAB-BA Corn Farmer Association, Masabaranon Farmers Association, and Quezon Farmers Association. These farm equipment cost Php10,125,000.00.

For the High Value Crop Development Program (HVCDP), the Mayon Farmers Association of Camalig, Albay Inc and the Binanuaanan Farmers Community Development Association (BFCDA) received a roasting machine, dehuller/skin remover, grinder/pulverizer, kneader/mixer and stainless working table. The Sta. Elena Baras Vegetable Planters Association, BFCDA and the Municipal Nursery of San Fernando received a unit of water pump each. The Upland Small Hog Raisers and Ruminants Farmers Association, Tara Farmers Association, and Marangi United Vegetable Growers Association also received one unit of power tiller each. Veneracion Farmers and Urban Poor Association, LGUs of Garchitorena and Buhi received assorted vegetable seeds. Bula Upland Farmers and Producers also received 8.4 kgs of assorted vegetable seeds and a vacuum sealer. The various organizations of IRIGA City also received 550 kgs of Peanuts planting materials. The total cost of these equipment and inputs was Php2,125,732.00.

For the Rice Program, 11 units of Transplanter were distributed to Baranghawon Bongabong Mariroc Guinobat Irrigators Association; Nagkakaisang Samahang Magsasaka ng San Vicente; Allan Communal Irrigators Association, Inc; TAPS Irrigators Association, Inc; Marupit Farmers Association; Tagas Rice and Vegetable Producers and Irrigators, Inc; San Jose Farmers Association of Iriga City, Cam. Sur Inc (SJFAIC); Santiago Old Farmers Association; Alulukdo Barayong Irrigators Association; Planters and Farmers Producer Cooperative; and Ulag Prieto Diaz Farmers Assocation. 137 sacks of Registered Palay Seeds under the Seed Exchange Project were distributed to the LGUs of Canaman, Minalabac, Magarao, San Jose, Bato, and Cataingan. Four units of Seed Spreader were distributed to Camarines Sur Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Magarao MPC, SJFAIC and Nabua West MPC. Two combine harvesters were received by the Bagacay Cabugngahan Farmers Association and Gabao Samahang Nayon MPC. The total cost of these distributed equipment and input was Php6,392,900.00 pesos.

Madrid said that the recipients will have to attend a training on operation and maintenance of the various farm equipment.

Madrid capped the event by recognizing the role of the Bicolano farmers in the accomplishments and achievements of the DA-Bicol. (jaysonmgonzales with photos by Raymund Adversario, Emil Pasumbal and Jun Collantes)