The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) on Monday vowed to distribute the bulk of the farm technologies under its P5-billion 2022 farm mechanization program to rice farmer-beneficiaries within the year.
PhilMech Executive Director Dionisio Alvindia said the agency started its procurement processes last June for the P5 billion worth of farm machinery under the 2022 mechanization component of the six-year Rice Competitiveness Enhancement program (RCEP).
Alvindia said the PhilMech, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, is committed to distribute nearly all of the procured farm machinery under the 2022 mechanization Program before the end of the year.
“We are targeting to deliver all the to-be procured production technologies this year but the machines for the establishment of post-harvest facilities such as rice milling and drying facilities may spill over to the first quarter of 2023 because these require construction and testing,” he told reporters at a virtual news briefing on Monday.
“We at PHilMech will level up the implementation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund-Mechanization Program by providing more qualified farmers cooperatives and associations or FCAs, or local government units or LGUs drying and milling facilities that will allow them to have a complete value chain, from planting to selling milled rice,” he added.
For this year, PhilMech said about 1,000 farmer FCAs and LGUs will receive 1,600 various farm technologies from land preparation to post-harvest use.
PhilMech added that the 2022 beneficiaries are new and existing beneficiaries under the six-year mechanization program.
“The new beneficiaries are those who were not ready during the 2019 and 2020 years and are now considered to become beneficiaries. [Meanwhile] the beneficiaries from 2019 to 2021 , who have already received production technologies, are now entitled for post-harvest technologies,” PhilMech Facility Management and Field Operations Division Chief Joel V. Dator said.
The six-year RCEP, which spans from 2019 to 2024, was created by Republic Act 11203 or rice trade liberalization law. The RCEP is a guaranteed annual P10 billion earmarked fund for the modernization of the country’s rice industry.
Under the law, half or P5 billion of the P10-billion RCEP is dedicated for the distribution of farm machinery, which is being implemented by the PhilMech.
Alvindia also promised PhilMech will complete the distribution of its outstanding deliverables under the past three iterations of the mechanization program this year.
Alvindia disclosed that about 617 farm technologies out of the 20,396 total procured technologies are yet to be distributed to beneficiaries. The remaining farm technologies to be distributed by the PhilMech were part of the cumulative P15-billion mechanization program from 2019 to 2021.
“We still have farm technologies to be distributed: there are about 593 technologies for land preparation and production and 24 technologies for post-harvest facilities that are still to be distributed,” he said.
“We will complete the distribution of all of these within the year. So by the end of the year we will not have a single [outstanding deliverable under the 2019-2021 mechanization programs],” he added.
Image credits: Philippine Rice Research Institute