A total of 6,692 SOCCSKSARGEN farmers who belong to different farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) will directly benefit from the machine grants worth P90-M under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program. A turn-over ceremony of agri-machinery was held on September 10, 2020 at Tupi Research and Experiment Station, Tupi, South Cotabato.

Twenty nine (29) FCAs who own at least a total of 1,450 hectare of land, will mechanize their farm operations come the next cropping season. Distributed machines include 25 units of four-wheel drive tractors, 24 units of hand tractors, 50 units of floating tillers, 17 units of rice combine harvesters, 5 units of rice precision seeders, 1 unit of riding-type mechanical rice transplanter, 3 units of walk-behind mechanical rice transplanter, 3 units of rice reaper and 3 rice mills.

The RCEF mechanization program hopes to lessen production cost and curb postharvest losses with the use of precise, complete and effective agricultural machines.

The P90-M worth of machine grants is only part of the 2019 P2-B budget. More machine grants will be expected by Region XII as this six-year government program continues.

Regional Executive Director Arlan M. Mangelen of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office XII has graced the event along with other officials in the local government units.

Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech), led by Director Baldwin G. Jallorina, is the frontliner in this intensive nationwide machine distribution.

Article by Jett Molech G. Subaba