La Trinidad farmers advance mechanization through PRDP’s 1-M aid

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LA TRINIDAD –  The plight of farmers in La Trinidad, Benguet are now advancing through the grant of small livelihood project with one-million pesos worth of farm equipment by the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).

In December 2014, former agriculture trainees from Japan formed into an organization with hopes of improving the situation of their fellow farmers in the valley.

“We proposed for farm machineries to reduce post harvest losses and make farming here in La Trinidad more efficient,” said Jenalyn Pultino, member of La Trinidad Japan Agriculture Trainees Association (LATJATA).

Pultino added the association gained a net income of almost P40,000 in providing services to their fellow farmers in the valley by renting out the farm equipment they received from the project.

LATJATA received one (1) unit of four-wheeled, 24-horsepower farm tractor with complete land cultivation implements and two (2) units of brush cutter which were turned over to them in December 2018.

The tractor is being rented out for P2.00 per square meter and the brush cutter for P1.00 per square meter. The rental fee will cover the labor of the operator, petrol, and for the maintenance and repair of the equipment.

Meanwhile, members confirmed the use of these equipment not only reduces production time but also saves money on hiring extra farm workers.

As the association continues to provide farm mechanization services to the farmers in the valley, they plan to buy additional machineries to help more farmers and make farming further efficient.

With an aggregate cost of P35 million, the region has a total of 35 small livelihood projects on restoration/ rehabilitation under the I-REAP (Enterprise Development) component of the PRDP benefiting around five thousand farmer-members.