Southern Palawan rice farmers are set to receive combine harvester units from the provincial government through the Department of Agriculture (DA).
According to a press statement released Thursday by the Provincial Information Office (PIO), the harvesters are part of the DA’s rice program, “On-Farm Mechanization Program: Provision of Farm Mechanization Facilities and Equipment to Farmer Associations.”
Turn-over formalities were conducted on July 23 after the provincial government received three combined harvester units targeted to be handed over to rice farmers in Bataraza, Rizal, and Brooke’s Point.
The units were turned over by the DA Regional Field Office MIMAROPA to the Palawan provincial government.
Program Manager for the Livelihood Project Dr. Myrna Lacanilao said that the units supplement a proposed “Food Terminal” project in the town of Bataraza. The terminal will be a demonstration area for the province’s agriculture office for rice and corn production methods. It will also serve as a warehouse for unmilled rice that will not be shipped to the National Food Authority (NFA).
“Ito ay part ng proposed food terminal sa Brgy. Bono-bono, Bataraza, kasi ang plano ni Gov. [Jose Ch.] Alvarez ay matulungan yung mga rice farmers, kasi hindi lahat ay nabibili ng NFA. Tutulungan natin sila at bibigyan ng decent price. Pero hindi ito free, maniningil tayo ng minimal fee para sa maintenance ng equipment pero hindi naman agad-agad, maari na kapag nakapag-ani na sila. Para may sustainability rin yung proyekto na ito ng gobyerno,” Lacanilao was quoted in saying.
The provincial government is also expecting to fast track the turn-over other machinery, such as tractors, mechanical dryers, and multi-pass rice mills for Palawan farmers.