502 farmers to benefit from RCEF farm equipment

With the goal to boost the local production of rice and enhance the competitiveness of rice farmers, 502 farmers will benefit from the farm machineries of Department of Agriculture – Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PHILMECH) under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) in Panay, Capiz.

On August 26, Butacal Farmers Association signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DA-PhilMech for the incoming farm equipment such as one unit of four-wheel tractor, walk behind transplanter, rice combine harvester, recirculating dryer and single-pass rice mill at Brgy. Butacal, Panay, Capiz.

Other five farmers’ groups of Panay held a MOA signing at Brgy. Calitan, Panay, Capiz together with Panay OIC Municipal Agriculturist Editha B. Dollete. Each identified group will receive the following machineries:

  • Calitan Multi-purpose Cooperative – Driven Disc Plow for four-wheel tractor (already turned to the cooperative);
  • Bago Grande Irrigators Farmers Association – four-wheel tractor, hand tractor, floating tiller, and riding type transplanter;
  • Lus-onan Farmers Association – four-wheel tractor and rice combine harvester;
  • Bago Chiquito Farmers Association – four-wheel tractor and rice combine harvesters
  • and Calapawan Farmers Association -rice combine harvester

“This intervention is under the mechanization component of RCEF which aims to improve their farm activities through appropriate and efficient mechanized technologies,” said Engr. Romar Areno, Visayas Cluster Head of DA-PHILMECH.

Aside from the competence to promote mechanized farming practices, the qualified farmers’ groups have passed the accreditation requirements to receive the projects with their willingness to collaborate in the implementation of the program.

“Mabudlay sa amun kung maglain ang tyempo kag naga inulan. Kung paagi sa manual labor, ga-delay amun nga pag ubra kag naga itum ang amon humay. Daku guid nga bulig nga matagaan kami sang makinarya para mapadali namon himuson ang amon produkto,” said Julie Buenafe, Chairperson of Butacal Farmers Association.

The RCEF program aims to improve rice farmers’ competitiveness and income amidst liberalization of the Philippine rice trade policy that lifted quantitative restrictions on rice imports and replaced it with tariffs, among others.

This mechanization program is intended to raise rice farmers’ productivity, profitability, and global competitiveness through strengthened access and use of appropriate production and postproduction mechanization technologies.*