DA Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol awarded rice machineries to the farmers of Apayao during his visit last August 11.
Secretary Piñol distributed machineries to reduce post-harvest losses, thus, increasing productivity and income of farmers. Some 2.7 million worth of rice machineries were distributed. These include 1.9 million worth of one combine harvester given to Cabaggoan Farmers Irrigators Association (CFIA) of Pudtol, Apayao. While one unit of four wheel drive tractor was awarded to Namnama ti Tamalunog Farmers Irrigators Association (NTFIA) of Flora, Apayao worth 855 thousand.
Before the turn-over of the machineries, he also instructed the rice farmers to organize themselves so that they can find means of availing equipment or machineries like rice harvester and rice mill. Rice mills, harvester and planters were also committed by the secretary and the DA-CAR to the farmers of Apayao.
This is in accord with the Secretary’s campaign, “Tapatan: Gobyerno at Mamayan”, which is a dialogue with local and provincial government officials and farmers. It is conducted nationwide to selected provinces which aims to identify issues and concerns that need to be immediately addressed by the present administration.
He also announced that President Duterte’s commitment of free irrigation starting 2017 and support to the rice farmers for the attainment of rice self-sufficiency by 2019.
“The hope of the farmers and their plight will not be neglected by Duterte Administration. Importation of rice from other countries like Thailand and Vietnam will have no place in the country as rice self-sufficiency by 2019. It is a challenge for the farmers to maintain irrigation canal even as the irrigation will be provided as free,” Piñol said.
Other machineries distributed by Secretary Piñol include the following:
One unit combine harvester; four unit four wheel drive tractors; three units mechanical corn sheller; six unit open source pumps; one unit hand tractor with corn planter; one unit cassava chipper chipper; one unit cassava pulverizer.
The turn-over of the said agricultural equipment is part of the DA’s thrust to mechanize and increase corn production in areas where irrigation, expansion, production and post-harvest mechanization are possible and needed.
Around 19 different farmers association, organizations, and cooperatives will be benefitting in the said projects.
The farm equipment was procured based on the 2016 validated proposals submitted by the Local Government Units (LGUs) of the province under the corn program of the department.
By Jerome Padilla and Crisante Rosario