2 Kalinga coops receive rice farm machineries from DA-Philmech

By Peter A. Balocnit

TANUDAN, Kalinga, Feb. 27 (PIA) – – Two farmer cooperatives in this municipality recently received rice farm machineries from the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech).
Turned-over to the Tanudan Savings and Lending Cooperative (TASALECO) were one combine harvester and one tractor rotavator amounting to Php1.8 million and Php1.350M, respectively.
One combine harvester worth P1.8M was also provided to the Ducligan Farmers Cooperative (DUFAMCO).
All machineries were provided with a complete set of tools for repair and maintenance.
The mechanization assistance is a component of DA’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Program which aims to improve the rice farmers’ competitiveness and income amidst the liberalization of the rice trade and to accelerate and improve their rice farming activities.
Provincial Agriculturist Domingo Bakilan said these cooperatives are not first-timers when it comes to using and maintaining farm machineries.  They have good track records having received other farm machineries from DA.

Prior to becoming beneficiaries of the program, these cooperatives were validated in terms of their social and technical aspects by DA-PhilMech. Among the technical requirements include regular members having at least 50 hectares of rice farm; with a minimum rice area of 100 hectares within the peripheral barangays from the proposed location of the farm machineries; have the capacity to operate and maintain the machinery and equipment and willing to undergo related training course/s; and willing to provide machinery shed as counterpart.
Bakilan emphasized that the cooperative is responsible for maintaining the farm machineries and use it according to its designed purpose as specified in the signed Memorandum of Agreement between the cooperative and PhilMech.
The cooperatives are also expected to submit accomplishment reports to DA-PhilMech every cropping season as agreed for monitoring purposes and that the Provincial LGU through the Office for Provincial Agricultural Services will also conduct regular monitoring of said interventions in accordance with the signed MOA.
Meanwhile, 17 improvised tractors (kuliglig) are set to be distributed to the five farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) who first received farm machinery and equipment under the RCEP. This will benefit two FCAs in Rizal, one in Pinukpuk, and two in Tabuk City. (JDP/PAB-PIA CAR, Kalinga with reports from DA RAFIS)