SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – The Department of Agriculture distributed various farm machineries and equipment totaling P55.2 Million to 130 farmers’ associations from Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, and Sorsogon. The mass distribution was held at the Farmers’ Hall, DA RFO 5 compound here on July 29, 2019.

Among the equipment distributed which were funded under the Rice Program include:  2 units 4WD tractor; 4 units combine harvester DC 35; 5 units combine harvester DC 70; 46 units handtractor; 87 units thresher; 12 units walk behind transplanter; 2 units riding type transplanter; 4 units floating tiller; 9 units seed spreader; 8 units reaper 23 units PISOS; and 32 units shallow tube well.

Meanwhile, under the Corn Program, 12 farmers associations and cooperatives received 4 multi crop drying pavements; 1 unit mobile recirculating batch type dryer; 3 units mechanical corn sheller; 2 units combine harvesters; and 1 unit PISOS.

Dr. Mary Grace DP. Rodriguez, OIC Chief of Field Operations Division said that with the DA’s limited budget, strict screening is being done based on the guidelines to select the most qualified associations from the numerous organized groups that submitted their  intent to avail of the machineries.

The recipients signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the DA stipulating the role of the associations particularly in the maintenance of the equipment and machineries such as the provision of shed. Dr. Rodriguez also urged to associations  to employ strategies in order to maximize the use of the equipment given by the DA.

Lorenzo L. Alvina, DA Bicol Rice and Corn Program Coordinator said that the machineries are DA’s support to the farmers to ease farm labor from planting up to harvesting. On the current problem of low buying price of palay, Alvina urged the farmers’ association to strengthen their business model and networking. The chairperson/presidents of the  associations, together with their municipal/city agriculturists, personally received the equipment and machineries from Lorenzo Alvina and Dr. Mary Grace Rodriguez. The mass distribution was witnessed by regional auditor Nida O. Gomez of Commission on Audit and Engr. Nilda Albano, chief of the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED). (Lovella P. Guarin)