Farmers receive flatbed dryers from DA–BPRE worth P16-M
Pagadian City (23 October) -- Some 24 irrigators association (IA) from the municipality of Labangan in Zamboanga del Sur received a flatbed dryer each from the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension (BPRE). The mass turnover was done yesterday at Barangay Balimbingan in Labangan.
Recipients were IAs from Barangays Balimbingan, New and Old Labangan, Dalapang, Lantian, Lower Pulacan, Lower and Upper Campo Islam, Lower and Upper Sang-an, Sta Cruz, Tapodoc, and Tawagan Norte. The president from each association received a certificate of turnover from the DA and BPRE.
Regional Executive Director Oscar O. Parawan said that flatbed dryers address postharvest losses. "This facility is part of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s pronounced package of intervention measures to sustain the country’s high agricultural growth through FIELDS that composed essential ingredients in making food abundant, accessible, and affordable for the Filipinos. FIELDS stands for Fertilizer, Irrigation and Infrastructure, Extension Education and training of farmers and fisherfolk, Loans, Dryers, and other postharvest facilities and Seeds of the high-yielding hybrid varieties. Flatbed dryers materialize the letter D in the FIELDS program of PGMA," Parawan explained. He added that flatbed dryers will be very useful for rice farmers especially during rainy season. "The region can save millions of pesos if postharvest losses shall be addressed properly," Parawan said.
Labangan OIC Mayor Ustadj Faisal Balatucal said that Labangan has vast areas for rice production and the flatbed dryers can really help in the postharvest operations of the farmers. "We welcome more of these facilities in our municipality," Balatucal said.
The BPRE Area Coordinator for Mindanao Engr. Edgar Testa representing Director Ricardo L. Cachuela said that Region 9 has the most flatbed dryers installed. "Of the 548 target units for Mindanao, Region 9 has 198 and the municipality of Labangan has the most number at 24 units. Thirty more units will be installed in this region this year." Testa encouraged the recipients to follow procedures in operating the dryer and maintain it properly so that it could last longer and service areas would benefit more from the facility.
The mass turnover was also attended by rice farmers, officials and members of the irrigators association, barangay officials, National Gawad Saka Awardee Rice Category Bonifacio Corpuz, Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Council Chairman Sammy Laguiab, Sangguniang Bayan Members Noel Sabado, Basid Manupac and Zacaria Sindantoc, Liga ng mga Barangay President Dante Maulana, ATI Director Sergio Andolero, and Municipal Agriculturist Henry Failma. (DA9, GCC/ PIA9-Pagadian City) [top]