THE Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) said that it has distributed P181 million worth of farm equipment to cooperatives in four provinces.
PhilMech distributed equipment to farmers cooperative and associations (FCAs) in Sultan Kudarat, La Union, Pangasinan, and Occidental Mindoro.
PhilMech handed out four single pass rice mills and six-ton dryers to four FCAs in Sultan Kudarat valued at P16.9 million.
In La Union, PhilMech distributed 49 units of machinery worth P51.36 million.
These included four-wheel drive tractors, hand tractors, walk-behind and riding type transplanters, rice combine harvesters, 6-ton recirculating dryers, and a 1.5-ton per hour (tph) multi-stage rice mill.
“31 qualified FCAs and three local government units (LGUs) from La Union were the recipients of the farm machinery distribution,” it said.
Joel V. Dator, PhilMech director, urged FCAs in La Union to invest in warehouse facilities to avail of “state-of-the-art” rice processing facilities.
“My challenge to all of you, is for your organizations to construct warehouses, and we will give to you rice mills and dryers because our dream for farmers in La Union is not only to sell palay, but to also sell milled rice,” Mr. Dator said.
In Occidental Mindoro, P34 million worth of farming equipment was also distributed to 13 FCAs and two local government units.
Additionally, 13 qualified FCAs in Pangasinan received farm machinery amounting to P18.7 million. PhilMech distributed hand tractors, walk-behind transplanters, and combine harvesters to cooperatives in the province.
PhilMech also signed a memorandum of agreement with the Pangasinan Organic Seed Growers and Nursery Multipurpose Cooperative to construct a rice processing system in the province.
PhilMech will allocate two recirculating dryers with a 12-ton drying capacity per batch and a multi-pass rice mill, worth a total of P60 million. — Adrian H. Halili