‘Farm equipment helped PHL cope with climate change’

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Friday that  investing in farm machineries and postharvest facilities helped the country become more climate-change ready.

Agriculture Assistant Undersecretary and National Corn Program Director Edilberto de Luna said the Philippines become more ready for harsh weather conditions because of the government and the private sector’s investments in different machines and facilities.

“The investment in farm machineries and postharvest facilities is also a climate-change adaptability initiative. It also raised our corn’s quality and helped it become more price-competitive,” de Luna said in a statement.

He added that if harvesting is done manually during typhoons, the chances of crops being damaged are higher.

“If you will use a combined harvester, you can harvest a hectare in no time. Practically, you will save the entire harvest,” de Luna said.

Farm mechanization is part of the DA’s program to modernize agriculture in the country in order to lower production cost and postharvest losses compared to manual labor.

De Luna addressed farmers’ concerns that they will lose their livelihood with the entry on machines into the farms.

“They will become farm service providers [FSPs]. In fact, Secretary [Proceso] Alcala is pushing for the formation of more FSP groups, which the department will support and train,” de Luna said.

The FSPs shall be trained as professional farmworkers skilled in conventional and modern methods of farming. They, in turn, shall be tasked to maintain and operate the farm tractors, combined harvesters and other machineries that will be used in the farms.

According to the DA, FSPs can enter into service arrangements with the landowners.


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