Eight farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) from the province of Negros Oriental in Central Visayas received 104 units of agricultural machines as part of the initial machinery distribution under Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund Mechanization Program.

A turn-over ceremony was held on September 17 in Tanjay, Negros Oriental conducted by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech).

Dr. Baldwin G. Jallorina, PHilMech director, graced the ceremony and challenged the farmers to take care of the machine grants so that more farmers, even the next generation, can benefit from it.

Four units of four-wheel drive tractor, 23 units of hand tractor, 25 units of floating tiller, 1 unit of rice precision seeder, 5 units of walk-behind mechanical rice transplanter, 4 units of riding-type mechanical rice transplanter, 19 units of rice reaper, 1 unit of combine harvester, 19 units of mini thresher and 3 units of mobile rice mill, were given as grants to these FCAs.

The said distribution is only part of the 2019 P2-B budget of RCEF Mechanization for the region. More machinery distributions are expected towards the end of the year and interested FCAs can still avail of the program.

Interested farmer groups should have at least 50 hectare of land owned by their members with adjacent farm area of 100 hectares. They should be willing to provide parking space for the machines and has the capacity to manage the operations. Lastly, they should be willing to be trained and abide to the policies of the program.

Around 1,312 rice farmers, who belong to the eight FCAs in the province, will directly benefit from distributed machines.

Article by Jett Molech G. Subaba