The mechanization arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA) turned over agri-machineries worth P269.4 million to rice farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCA) in 20 towns in Bohol, said a provincial government official.
Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech) director Baldwin Jallorina led the turnover ceremony in Ubay on Thursday morning.
Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Larry Pamugas said the recipient FCAs were given a total of 61 assorted machineries.
The donated machineries included 45-horsepower tractors, riding-type transplanters and combine harvesters.
These were allocated for FCAs in the towns of Balilihan, Calape, Catigbian, Bien Unido, Buenavista, Dagohoy, Danao, Trinidad, Ubay, Alicia, Batuan, Bilar, Candijay, Carmen, Duero and Garcia Hernandez.
According to Pamugas, the initiative was funded through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
“Pinaagi ni sa RCEF and ang source aning RCEF is kaning rice tariff, buhis sa importation,” said Pamugas.
Rice mechanization is one of the components of Republic Act No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law. It stipulates the creation of the RCEF that would be funded from rice tariffs collections, with P10 billion allocated annually from 2019 to 2024 or a period of six years.
For his part, DA-PhilMech Bohol focal person Raymundo Jimenez explained that municipalities that are considered as rice-producing are prioritized for the program.
The type of machinery would also vary for FCAs in various towns depending on their needs.
“Dili siya uniform kay lahi-lahi man og terrain para sa mga farmers, lahi-lahi sad og rice area, like for example sa Ubay dako sila og rice area kompara sa Duero na gamay ra,” said Jimenez.
Once turned over, the machineries will be under the care of the recipient FCAs who will shoulder maintenance and operational expenses for the items. (A. Doydora)