Farmers in the municipality of Narra are expecting a favorable farm gate price of unhusked rice or palay in the next cropping and harvest season with the improvement of production brought by machineries distributed to the Irrigators Associations (IAs) of Palawan, which are supported by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
Jibsam Andres, president of the Dumangueña-Manaile River Irrigator’s Association (DUMRIA) in Narra said the four-wheel tractor and a unit of combine harvester from the Department of Agriculture (DA) will improve the quality of their palay, which will in turn result to a good buying price from traders.
“Noong wala pa ‘yong mga intervention, ang problema namin ay nasisira ‘yong aming mga product so ‘yong quality ng mga palay ay bumabagsak ang presyo kasi nababasa at saka magastos ‘yong paggapas, ‘yong manual. Matagal kami na nagri-request sa DA hanggang sa dumating ‘yong RCEF program ng government,” Andres said.
“Ang maganda dyan, ang palay kapag umulan, kaunting maghangin-hangin lang ay pwede na pasukin ng harvester, unlike sa thresher pa, kahit na mainit ‘yong panahon sa paggapas mo, kapag biglang umulan, ‘yong nakaumpok na palay ay mababasa, masisira siya. Sa harvester ay maganda ang quality ng farm products,” he explained.
Andres added that their selling price of aroma variety is ranging to P16.50 to P17.00 per kilo of palay, while the ordinary variety is up to P14.50 during the second cropping.
“Development sa production, dati kasi ang farmers ay nagbabayad sa arawan ng mga gumagapas, papakainin pa. Ngayon dito sa harvester, mabilis na ‘yong process. Ang isa pa sa maganda, ‘yong association ay nagkaroon ng pera for operation, nagkaroon ng projects kasi may pagkukunan. Sa expenses sa farm ay nakatipid at mas naging matatag ang association dahil may income,” he said.
He said their association is starting the early cropping by March to April instead of waiting for the month of May, and that they expect a not lower than P17.00 palay selling price in the harvest season during the months of July and August.
“Instead na mag-o-open kami ng irrigation sa aming cropping sa May, ang ginawa namin sa lugar namin ay hinati namin sa dalawa ang aming farm area. Dry season ngayon, ang kalahati, last year kasi ang ginagawa namin totally cut off ang tubig namin. Ngayon ay nag-open kami ng kalahati ng aming irrigation area kasi meron na kaming sariling machineries,” he said.
“Sa July-August na aani ang mga tao, mataas ang magiging price ng palay kasi out of season,” he added.
DUMRIA is one of the IAs supported by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Palawan Irrigation Management Office (IMO) in the province. A total of 75 farmer leaders from cooperatives and associations in 17 municipalities received a unit of four-wheel tractor and one unit combine harvester each from the agriculture department during the visit of DA secretary William Dar on January 29.
The machineries are part of the mechanization component of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) allocated from Republic Act 11203 or known as the Rice Tariffication Law.
NIA Palawan IMO Division Manager Conrado V. Cardenas, Jr. said that they expect the intervention to serve as an inspiration to every Palaweño farmers.
“NIA has always been proud of Irrigator’s Associations for their successes and we hope these will serve as an inspiration to all farmers or IAs in the province of Palawan to achieve their goals in the near future,” he said.
A total of 337 units of farm machineries and equipment were distributed to farmers and fisherfolks by Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech). The units have a total value of P105 million agri-intervention and assistance extended to the province of Palawan
Among of the Irrigator’s Associations (IA) who also received the mechanization were Malapandeg Farmer’s IA, Tinagong Dagat IA, Luntiang Kabundukan IA, Elvita Taritien, Malatgao Farmers IA, Panibacan Irrigators Service Association, Tagbuaya Irrigators Association, Samahang Magpapatubig at Magsasaka ng Candawaga, Inc. Samahang Magpapatubig ng Katiringan at Libtong, Inc. in southern Palawan and JORIZAN Malatgao RIS IA, Jose Rizal of Aborlan Farmers IA, Magsasaka ng Apoc-Apoc, Tigman Plaridel IA, United Northern Palawan Rice Granary Farmers IA Inc., Layok Farmers IA, CAVISCO IA, Samahan ng Magpapatubig ng Mabini, El Nido, Palawan Inc., Mauranen IA, and Samahang Manunubig ng Ibangan, Bantoto Farmers, Abaroan Roxas in northern Palawan.