Simultaneous training courses are being conducted in various areas of the country as the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) readies Filipino farmers for the future by being globally competitive through farm mechanization.

Under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) –Mechanization Program, PHilMech, with a yearly budget of P5 billion for the next six years, will provide Farmers’ Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs) with farm machines that will help our farmers increase yield, productivity and income, as well as making sure that our farmers can compete with our neighboring countries.

In a carefully laid out series of training courses conducted nationwide during the course of the program, the “Training Course and Resource Person Development on the Operation and Maintenance of Rice Machinery” serves as the kick starter of the program. With two batches totaling to 63 participants who have satisfactorily completed the training course during the month of September, these participants have graduated to become “Rice Mechanization Specialists” as they have undergone the necessary training that have developed them into becoming resource speakers for several training courses on rice mechanization.

Following this training course is the “Training Course on the Operation and Maintenance of Rice Machinery”. The training course, which started on October 21, 2019, allow beneficiaries of the program to have the opportunity to learn how to operate and maintain the machines that will be provided for them in order to achieve the desired output while also maximizing the utilization of the machines.

According to the Technology Management and Training Division (TMTD) of PHilMech who spearheads the technical capability activities by conducting training courses in support to the Rice Mechanization component, as of December 2, 2019, a total of 26 batches consisting of 519 FCAs and 1,101 operators nationwide have undergone the training course on the operation and maintenance of rice machinery. This brings PHilMech’s running accomplishment for their targets to 43.3% for batches, 43.3% for FCAs and 45.9% for total participants for the training.

From October 21 to December 6, training courses have been conducted by the TMTD nationwide, targeting priority rice producing provinces from Region 1 to Region 12 (including Cordillera Administrative Region) making sure that every beneficiary gets the necessary training for the proper use and maintenance of their farm machines.

PHilMech’s TMTD and the Enterprise Development Division have also commenced with the “Training-workshop on the Management of Agricultural Machinery Pool” on December 2, 2019. This training-workshop aims to equip FCA machine beneficiaries with the knowledge and skills in the preparation of their operational plan to effectively and sustainably manage their agri-machinery pool/farm service center. This training will also be conducted nationwide.

Despite 2019 nearing its end, PHilMech will still continue to provide training courses to farm beneficiaries in the months to come as the agency aims to educate and train them resulting to farmers having more yield, better productivity and bigger income.

Article by Gio Anton T. Barroga