PhilRice machines cut farmers’ labors costs 

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The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) on Wednesday said it will commercially roll out next year two farm machines that would reduce farmers’ labor costs by at least 20 percent.

PhilRice said a machine it developed called a hand tractor mounted multipurpose seeder (MP Seeder) could reduce farmers’ labor cost by around 20 percent to 30 percent.

“It hastens the planting process. Normally, laborers finish the job by at least one whole day, but with the MP Seeder, farmers can finish planting for half a day,or even as fast as three hours,” Engr. Eden Gagelonia, lead engineer of the MP Seeder, said  in a news statement.

“Aside from rice, it can also plant mungbeans and corn seeds in dry pulverized soil, and later, cover the seeds with another layer to protect them from birds and rodents,” Gagelonia added.

The MP Seeder is attachable to local hand tractors with a ride-on operator for mechanical, dry, direct seeding for rainfed areas, according to PhilRice.

The attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA) also developed a Hydrous Bioethanol Fuel-Feeding Device (HBFFD), which could power small agricultural machines using alternative fuel.

“It can power microtillers, power tiller haulers, micromills, water pumps, pump boats and other machines operated by gasoline engine,” said Engr. Alexis Belonio, lead engineer of the device.

He said the HBFFD utilizes bioethanol fuel, which can be extracted from sugar-rich crops such as nipa, sugarcane molasses, acacia fruit and pineapple peels using a bioethanol fermentation and distillation facility, according to PhilRice.

“With our depleting supply of fossil fuel, the use of bioethanol technology is a cost-efficient system because our farmers can now produce and use clean alternative fuel from their farm resources at the least cost,” Belonio added.

The two new farm machines were developed by PhilRice in partnership with the Bureau of Agricultural Research, another attached agency of the DA.



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