San Fernando City, La Union – The Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) has distributed P88-million worth of farm machineries for Pangasinan farmers.

These equipment will help enhance the farmers’ productivity as these will utilize for land preparation, plant establishment, harvesting, threshing, and grain drying.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) Director Baldwin Jallorina, and DA Ilocos Regional Field Office OIC-Director Nestor Domenden awarded these farm machineries in Lingayen and Binalonan on November 6, 2020.

Through the RCEF Mechanization Component, at least 64 farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) in five districts of Pangasinan received four-wheel drive tractors, precision seeders, combine harvesters, and mechanical dryers,

In a report of Gumamela Bejarin of the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS), it was said that Secretary Dar reiterated that these farm machineries will significantly increase yield and reduce postharvest losses.

“Malaki po ang gagampanan ng Province of Pangasinan sa ating national rice production. Malaki ang potensyal at kontribusyon ng probinsiya sa food security ng ating bansa,” Secretary Dar said as he committed that DA will continue to deliver projects for rice farmers.

(“The Province of Pangasinan has a big role in our national rice production. The province has a huge potential in terms of contributing to the nation’s food security.”)

He also announced that with Pangasinan’s role in the country’s rice production, a total of P515 million RCEF mechanization fund has been allocated for the province for 2019 and 2020.

The secretary also encouraged farmers and fishers to enroll in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and be part of FCAs for them to qualify as beneficiaries and avail of various projects from the national government.

“This time around, hahatakin natin na lahat ng mga magsasaka ay dapat buklod-buklod na. Kasama na po kayo dapat sa kooperatiba o asosasyon para makasama na kayo sa lahat ng biyaya mula sa gobyerno,” he said.

(“This time around, our farmers should be in groups. You should all belong to a cooperative or association so you can be included in government efforts.”)

Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III, 2nd District Representative Jumel Anthony Espino, 5th District Representative Ramon Guico III, and Binalonan Mayor Ramon Guico Jr. also expressed their support to the agriculture sector during the awarding ceremonies in the province.

Following the Rice Tariffication Law, RCEF has a P10-billion yearly allocation for six years that will focus on mechanization, seed distribution, skills development, and credit components. Annually, P5 billion budget is allocated for the mechanization component. This is on top of the DA’s regular fund for Rice Program projects.

For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture (DA).