BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
A total of P168 Million worth of rice farm machineries and equipment under the Department of Agriculture’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program were distributed on November 11 by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson to various rice farmer cooperatives and associations in Negros Occidental.
The agricultural machineries distributed include 36 units of four-wheel tractor, 24 units of rice combine harvester, 13 units of riding type transplanter, and five units walk-behind transplanter.
These project aims to reduce the cost of rice production and reduce postharvest losses, that will eventually help the farmers increase their productivity and income, according to Lacson, who was assisted by Philmech Director Baldwin Jallorina in the distribution of the farm machineries and equipment, which was held at the Panaad Park in Brgy. Mansilingan, Bacolod City.
The rice farmer cooperatives and associations who were recipients of the projects were from the LGUs of San Carlos City, Calatrava, Don Salvador Benedicto, Sagay City, Cadiz City, Murcia, Victorias City, Bago City, Valladolid, Pulupandan, San Enrique, Pontevedra, La Carlota City, Hinigaran, Moises Padilla, La Castellana, Isabela, Binalbagan, Himamaylan City, Kabankalan City, Ilog, Cauayan, Sipalay
The implementation of the project is through the collaborative effort of Department of Agriculture, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech), in cooperation with DA-RFOs and provincial government of Negros Occidental.
Lacson, who the thanked the DA and PHilMech for the projects given to Negrense farmers, stressed that the agricultural sector plays an important role in recovering from the pandemic in ensuring strong food value chains, and in promoting a vibrant rural economy.
It is fair and reasonable to further equip the farmers with projects that will help them in rice production as they play a major role in food security, he added.
Negros Occ. Board Member Andrew Montelibano, Sixth District Rep. Genaro Alvarez, Jr., Cauayan Mayor John Rey Tabujara, Sagay City Mayor Alfredo Maranon III, Arjay Venus from the Office of Senator Cynthia Villar, Engr. Albert Barrogo of the Dept. of Agriculture – VI, and Provincial Agriculturist Dina Genzola, were also present at the activity.*