The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) has procured over 20,000 units of farm machines under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program.

The agency said as of June 15, 2022 it procured 20,076 units of farm machines worth P14.88 billion and attained 98 percent delivery rate to more than 6,000 qualified farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) and local government units nationwide.

The units were covered by funding for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Under the Rice Tariffication Law, PhilMech gets P5 billion annually from 2019 to 2024 for the distribution of farm machines to qualified FCAs at no cost.

Dr. Dionisio Alvindia, PhilMech director, said in a statement the distribution of machineries will further help the local rice sector increase productivity in support of the country’s goal towards food security and sovereignty.

He added of the farm machines procured, P6.579 billion was spent for land preparation or four-wheel tractors (4,073 units), hand tractors (4,746 units), floating tillers (1,947 units) and disc plow/harrows (114 units).

Farm machines distributed for crop establishment were valued at P2.254 billion for precision seeders (182 units), walk-behind transplanters (1,735 units), and riding-type transplanters (695 units).

The total cost of farm machines distributed for harvesting and threshing reached P5.616 billion for combine harvesters (2,787 units), reapers (2,085 units) and threshers (1,307 units) while the total cost of farm machines distributed for postharvest amounted P434.644 million for mobile rice mills (302 units), impeller mills (31 units), recirculating dryers (28 units), multi-pass mills (14 units), mobile dryers (6 units), and single-pass rice mills (24 units).  (Jed Macapagal, Malaya Business Insight)