Tupi, South Cotabato – Farmers from the four provinces of the Central Mindanao Region – North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Saranggani – and the City of General Santos yesterday received farm machineries and post-harvest facilities worth P200-million.
The farm machineries and equipment distribution is part of the Agricultural Mechanization Program of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries as it seeks to increase productivity and lower post-harvest losses.
Philippine Agriculture loses 16% of the harvest while the fisheries sector wastes 40% of the catch because of the absence of post-harvest facilities.
Agriculture Region XII Director Milagros Casis said the equipment and farm machineries were released following the directive issued by President Rody Duterte who said that farmers should no longer be required to pay an equity of 10% of the total cost of the equipment.
Yesterday’s farm machineries and equipment distribution was made in the very same Agriculture Field Office in Tupi, South Cotabato where I discovered hundreds of million worth of similar machineries were kept under the sun, some of these already rusting.
The equipment and farm machineries were not released to the farmers because they had a hard time coming up with the 10% equity which in the case of a P3-M equipment would be P300,000.
President Duterte last year directed me not to make things difficult for the farmers who would like to avail of the mechanisation program of the government.
Present during yesterday’s turn over ceremonies were South Cotabato Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes, Sultan Kudarat Governor Pax Mangudadatu, several mayors, vice mayors and local officials from the Central Mindanao Region.
The equipment distribution by DAF Region XII yesterday marked the first of a series of regional farm machineries and equipment turn over all over the country.
Next week, I will be in Iloilo Province, Region VI, for the distribution of the farm machineries and equipment acquired by DAF Regional Office under Director Remelyn Recoter.