By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is readying to distribute to farmer-beneficiaries and organizations about 15,000 farm machineries approximately worth P10 billion this year.
DA Director Roy Abaya said 2,938 machineries are now ready for distribution.
A total of 495 four-wheel tractors, 356 rice combine harvesters and 576 hand tractors are set for distribution to qualified FCAs.
Also set for distribution are: 103 rice reapers; 52 precision seeders; 106 walk behind transplanters; 118 riding type transplanters; 347 floating tillers; and 46 rice mills.
A bidding will be conducted for additional 7,900 machineries in June, and another 4,000 machineries by September, he pointed out.
“We will be able to distribute 15,000 different kinds of machineries this year for our farmer-beneficiaries and organizations in RCEF-covered (Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund) municipalities in 57 provinces,” Abaya said during the virtual press briefing of the Inter-Agency Task Force-Task Group on Food Security on Thursday.
Under the Republic Act 11203, or the Rice Tariffication Law, P10 billion will be allocated every year for the next six years from 2019 for RCEF and will be allocated as follows: P5 billion for farm mechanization; P3 billion for high-yielding seeds; P1 billion for credit support; and P1 billion for training programs.
More than 1 million bags of certified inbred rice seeds have already been delivered to rice-producing cities and municipalities to help farmers.
A total of 1,128,368 bags have been delivered out of the total 2,514,000 bags of seeds.
Abaya said training courses also continue to conducted in various areas of the country.
DA’s Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization estimates that farm mechanization can lower the cost of cultivating palay (unmilled rice) by P1 to P2 per kilogram.
At present, the cost of producing a kilogram of palay in the Philippines is P12.72 per kilogram, while it is P6.62 per kilogram in Vietnam and P8.86 per kilogram in Thailand.