FARMERS’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) received another P181 million worth of assistance from the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).
PhilMech distributed these in the form of farming equipment in four provinces — Sultan Kudarat, La Union, Pangasinan and Occidental Mindoro — from Nov. 13 to 18, 2023.
This followed the P100 million worth of assistance given in the first 12 days of November, also under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)-Mechanization Program.
A total of 49 units of agricultural machines were distributed, including four-wheel drive tractors, hand tractors, walk-behind and riding type transplanters, rice combine harvesters, 6-ton recirculating dryers, and 1.5-ton per hour multi-stage rice mill.
PHilMech Director Joel Dator urged the FCAs to invest and level up their agricultural facilities during the handover ceremony in La Union on November 16.
“My challenge to all of you is for your organizations to construct warehouses, and we will give you rice mills and dryers because our dream for farmers in La Union is not only to sell palay but to also sell milled rice,” said Dator, who came on behalf of Executive Director Dionisio Alvindia.
Meanwhile, 13 qualified FCAs in Pangasinan received farm machines during a turnover ceremony held in Santa Barbara on November 15.
PHilMech also signed a memorandum of agreement with the Pangasinan Organic Seed Growers and Nursery Multipurpose Cooperative for the establishment of a rice processing system (RPS) worth around P60 million.
Thirteen qualified beneficiaries and two LGUs in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro, also received agricultural machines on November 15.
To prolong the service life of the distributed equipment and reduce farming costs, engineer Niño Bengosta, one of the cluster heads of the PHilMech-Facility Management and Field Operations Division, encouraged the recipients to use the farm machines effectively.