PIA Press Release
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
News Feature: DA to focus on agri mechanization in WVisayasby TWVillavert
ILOILO CITY, Jan 11 (PIA6) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) here said that it will actively promote the use of agricultural machinery among farmers in Western Visayas to jumpstart the Aquino government’s farm mechanization and post-harvest program.
Under this program, the DA will assist farmers acquire modern farm technology. Government will shoulder 85 percent of the equipment’s value while the remaining 15 percent will be paid for by the proponent or farmers’ association.
“It is high time to introduce to our farmers in Western Visayas to adopt modern farming by using farm machineries and equipments and other post harvest initiatives to attain efficiency in rice farming and likewise attain self-sufficiency,” DA 6 Regional Director Larry Nacionales said in a PIA interview.
“If our famers are already well aware of the advantages of using modern equipments in farming, and the manner or process on how these equipments could be availed of, then we will be improving further our rice production output,” he added.
Nacionales said that Region 6 posted a good harvest in year 2011 with more than two million metric tons “which helped pushed us to the number two slot in the country as rice producing region.”
With the good rice harvest last year, the DA 6 director expressed hope that the region’s rice produce would improve further if the use of modern farm equipments are in full scale.
He said that the level of agricultural mechanization in the region is low even without detailing the number of farmers who are still using the traditional way of farming.
“Only very few farmers in the region are using modern farm equipments,” Nacionales said as he noted that several of our farmers are still not free from the farming chores like the required backbreaking manual labor in land preparation, planting the seed, and reaping the harvest, itself a complex and hazardous task of cutting, collecting, bundling, threshing, and loading.
The DA 6 Regional Director said that under the farm mechanization program, the farmers are introduced to farm equipments such as four-wheel tractors, drum seeders, rice combine threshers, dryers, reapers, hand tractors, among others.
Nacionales cited as example the Rice Combine Harvester, a machine that combines harvesting, threshing, cleaning, and bagging in one operation which will help farmers for a fast post-harvest activities where in some occasion manpower for harvesting are not available or insufficient.