NABUA, CAMARINES SUR – In its aggressive implementation of rice mechanization program, the Department of Agriculture provides farm machineries and equipment to eligible farmers’ associations either through grant or counterparting scheme. The major responsibility of the recipient is to ensure that these machineries are always in good condition for their optimum utilization and benefits.

Thus, the DA RFO 5 in coordination with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI)  is conducting training on basic operations and proper maintenance of those machineries.

On March 18-22, 2019, a total of 25 operators of  4Wheel drive tractors and combine harvesters  attended the 5-day training on basic operations and maintenance of said machineries held in Macagang Business Center in Nabua, Camarines Sur.

Engr. Joseph Corporal Jr. and John Mark Licot of Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (Philmech) discussed the principles and system of land preparation; tractor and implements operation and maintenance; occupational health and safety procedures; safety measures in farm operations. They also discussed the operations and maintenance of combine harvester. A brief lecture on flatbed dryer and rice mill operations will also be given in the succeeding days.  

Representatives from the Aims Agri Ventures, Inc. also discussed “After Sales Services” or those pertaining to warranty and replacement of damaged parts. According to them, the DC-35 model of combine harvester consumes 6 liters of diesel per hour, while DC-60 and DC-70 consume 8-9 liters of diesel per hour.

These combine harvesters make harvesting so much easier by combining six operations such as reaping, gathering,  transporting,  threshing, cleaning, bagging into one machine and reduces grain loss to less than 1%. It can harvest 3 hectares of rice field per day at 8 hours per day of operation

The recipients of the 15 units combine  harvesters worth P1M/unit granted by the DA in 2018 who also sent a representative to said training were: Strategic Agro-Industrial Lofty Tech. Marketing Coop of Tabaco, Albay; Nagkakaisang Magsasaka ng San Vicente Libon, Albay; Hibiga Ris (WMPA) IA, Inc. of Balinad, Polangui, Albay; At. Anthony Farmers Coop, Inc. of Mambulo Nuevo, Libmanan, Cam. Sur; Baliuag Viejo Farmers Assn. of Minalabac, Cam. Sur; St. Michael Farmers Association of Pamplona, Cam. Sur; Calabanga Organic Producers Coop of Cam. Sur; Naga City North District IA, Inc. of Pacol, Naga City; San Antonio Farmers  Irrigators MPC of Buhi, Cam. Sur; Macalinao Farmers Marketing Coop of Bula, Cam. Sur; Patson Del Pilar Farmers SWISA Inc. of San Fernando, Cam. Sur; Cam. Sur MPC; Libjo-San Pedro-Talisay Irrigators Services Assn. of Catanduanes; Bagacay Cabungalan Farmers Assn. of Gubat, Sorsogon; and Gabao Samahang Nayon MPC of Irosin, Sorsogon.

Meanwhile, the recipients of the 10 units four wheel drive tractor worth P950,000/unit granted by the DA in 2018 were: Catbadian Irrigators Association (IA) of Oas, Albay; Guisican Multi-purpose Cooperative of Labo, Cam. Norte; Patson Del Pilar Farmers SWISA Inc. of San Fernando, Cam. Sur; Rural Agrarian Reform Coop of Libmanan, Cam. Sur; Matatag na  Samahan ng Magsasaka Coop of Ocampo, Cam. Sur; Cam. Sur MPC; San Jose Farmers Association of Iriga City; Lanang Farmers Association of Aroroy, Masbate; Siuton Irrigators Farmers  Consumers Coop and Biga Farmers and Fishermen Association of Magallanes, Sorsogon; Capuy Basud MPC of Sorsogon City.

To be eligible for the combine harvester, the farmers’ association must have a coverage of at least a cluster of 100 hectares rice area. To be eligible for mini combine harvester, the association must have at least a cluster of 30 hectares rice area. (Lovella P. Guarin / photo by Eduardo Collantes, Jr.)