The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist will implement “full swing” this year the provincial government's farm mechanization program to boost the rice sufficiency of Negros Occidental, Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said yesterday.
In an interview, Masculino said they are hoping that the equipment they requested from the Department of Agriculture will be given to them this year to help more farmers with problem in manual labor scarcity.
Earlier, OPA reported cases of decreasing farm workers as they are shifting to construction sites that are luring them to key cities of the province. They have therefore been recommending the mechanization of their crop production to farmers.
Masculino also said that, apart from the equipment from DA, the provincial government will initially acquire P10 million worth of farm equipment for the farmers before the first cropping season.
These machineries will be primarily intended for rice production, as well as for sugarcane, and the land preparation stage of high value crops and fruits like bananas, he said.
Apart from farm mechanization, OPA will also fully implement the Production Loan Easy Access by distributing it to those who applied for loans for their cropping activities.
The sixth district is the initial beneficiary of this program that Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol pledged during his Byaheng Bukid visit in the province last year.
Masculino said they have already distributed P1.5 million out of the P30 million PLEA intended for the farmers in the CHICKS area, that is comprised of the towns of Cauayan, Hinobaan, Ilog, and Candoni, and the cities of Kabankalan and Sipalay.
Each of the towns and cities in the district will have P5 million in assistance open for interested farmers who will apply.
He also said they are looking for more conduit groups for the loans to be granted to potential beneficiaries.
It is intended initially for 400 farmers from the CHICKS, who will receive P50,000 for fertilizer and other materials they need for farming. *MLG
back to top