The provincial government of Laguna announced its officials turned over agricultural machinery and equipment to 30 farmer cooperatives and associations.
The distribution was made possible through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) mechanization program of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).
According to a statement issued by PhilMech, the machinery grants include the following: 37 units of hand tractors; 50 units of floating tiller; nine units of walk-behind transplanter; two units of riding type transplanter; seven units of rice reaper; seven units of rice combine harvester; three units of mobile rice mill; one unit of single-pass rice mill; one unit of recirculating dryer (six tonner); two units of recirculating dryer (12 tonner); and, two units of multi-stage rice mill (1.5 tons per hour).
The RCEF mechanization program aims to help the farmers to be more competitive when it comes to farming, the machinery grants also aim to benefit the farmers from different cities and adjacent towns of Laguna, a document from PhilMech read.
PhilMech said it distributed 121 units of farming equipment in Laguna, valued at P64.7 million, last year.
Last month, PhilMech Executive Director Dionisio G. Alvindia said the agency has been getting pleas from local officials and farmers organizations on the need to extend RCEF.
“During the social preparation and training phases for qualified farmers’ groups, and the actual distribution of farm machines under the RCEF-mechanization program, we get pleas from both farmers and local officials to have the RCEF extended beyond June 2024,” Alvindia said.
PhilMech is implementing the RCEF-Mechanization Program with an allocation of P5 billion per year from 2019 to 2024, representing 50 percent of the P10-billion annual allocation for the fund.
The remaining 50 percent is allocated as follows: P3 billion for the distribution of high-yielding seeds; P1 billion for training and capacitating farmers; and, P1 billion for credit support.
RCEF was created by Republic Act 11203 (Rice Tariffication Law), which has provisions allocating all tariffs collected from rice imports for programs to benefit Filipino rice farmers and the industry.
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