A total of P168 million in rice farm machinery and equipment under the Department of Agriculture’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program, were distributed to various rice farmer cooperatives and associations in Negros Occidental, Thursday, November 11.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Philmech Director Baldwin Jallorina led the distribution of the projects at the Panaad Park in Bacolod City.
Distributed were 36 four-wheel tractors, 24 rice combine harvesters, 13 riding type transplanters, and 5 walk-behind transplanters.
This project aims to reduce the cost of rice production and reduce postharvest losses, that will eventually help the farmers increase their productivity and income, a press release from the Capitol said.
The implementation of the project is through the collaborative effort of DA, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech), in cooperation with DA-RFOs and the Negros Occidental provincial government.
The rice farmer cooperatives and associations who were recipients of the projects were from San Carlos City, Calatrava, Don Salvador Benedicto, Sagay City, Cadiz City, Murcia, Victorias City, Bago City, Valladolid, Pulupandan, San Enrique, Pontevedra, La Carlota City, Hinnigaran, Moises Padilla, La Castellana, Isabela, Binalbagan, Himamaylan City, Kabankalan City, Ilog, Cauayan, Sipalay City, Candoni, and Hinoba-an.
Lacson thanked the DA and PHilMech for the projects given to Negrense farmers.
He stressed that the agricultural sector plays an important role in recovering from the pandemic, in ensuring strong food value chains, and in promoting a vibrant rural economy.
It is fair and reasonable to further equip the farmers with projects that will help them in rice production, as they play a major role in food security, he said.
Negros Occidental Board Member Andrew Montelibano, Rep. Genaro Alvarez Jr. (Neg. Occ., 6th Distirct), Cauayan Mayor John Rey Tabujara, Sagay Mayor Alfredo Marañon III, Arjay Venus from the Office of Senator Cynthia Villar, Albert Barrogo of the Dept. of Agriculture – VI, and OIC Negros Occidental Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Dina Genzola, were also present at the activity.*