To accelerate and improve their rice farming activities, the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) turned-over rice farm machineries to two farmer-cooperatives in Tanudan, Kalinga on February 18, 2021.
The mechanization assistance is a component of the DA’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Program which aims to improve the rice farmers’ competitiveness and income amidst the liberalization of the rice trade.
The Tanudan Savings and Lending Cooperative (TASALECO) received one combine harvester and one tractor rotavator amounting to P1.8 Million and P1.350 Million, respectively.
Moreover, one combine harvester worth P1.8 Million was provided to the Ducligan Farmers Cooperative (DUFAMCO).
All machineries were provided with complete set of tools for repair and maintenance.
“These cooperatives are not first-timers when it comes to using and maintaining farm machineries and they have good track of records,” remarked Provincial Agriculturist Engr. Domingo Bakilan in an interview. He noted that the said cooperatives received other farm machineries from DA as well through its regular programs.
Prior to becoming beneficiaries of the Program, these cooperatives were validated in terms of their social and technical aspects by the DA-PhilMech. Among the technical requirements include having at least 50 hectares of rice farm by regular members; with a minimum rice area of 100 hectares within the peripheral barangays from the proposed location of the farm machineries; have the capacity to operate and maintain the machinery and equipment and willing to undergo related training course/s; and willing to provide machinery shed as counterpart.
Engr. Bakilan emphasized that the cooperative is responsible for maintaining the farm machineries and use it according to its designed purpose as specified in the signed Memorandum of Agreement between the cooperative and the PhilMech. The cooperatives are also expected to submit accomplishment reports to the DA-PhilMech every cropping season as agreed for monitoring purposes.
He added that the Provincial LGU through the Office for Provincial Agricultural Services (OPAS) will also conduct regular monitoring of said interventions in accordance with the signed MOA.
Meanwhile, 17 improvised tractors (kuliglig) are set to be distributed to the five farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) who first received farm machinery and equipment under the RCEP. It will benefit two FCAs in Rizal, one in Pinukpuk, and two in Tabuk, Kalinga.//
Photo courtesy: DA-CAR APCO Kalinga