February 22, 2024

LAMUT, Ifugao – Six farmer organizations in the province recently received agricultural machineries from the Department of Agriculture under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) mechanization program to improve their farming systems and be competitive.
Officials of DA-Cordillera and Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization turned over four-wheel drive tractors, combined  harvesters, and precision rice seeder  to Lamut Riverside Farmers Association (LRFA); Olilicon Irrigators Association and Caba Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative, both in Lagawe; Oneg Landing Camarag Morong Mabalacat Irrigators Association in  Aguinaldo; Calimag Irrigators and Farmers Association (CIFA) and Unified Farmers Association of Alfonso Lista.
PhilMech Director IV Baldwin Jallorina said   the recipients are the initial beneficiaries of the program in the province. “We have more machineries like small hand tractors, mini-thresher and mini-rice mill to be given to eligible beneficiaries to help lower the production cost and increase the profits of farmers,” he added.
Baldwin enjoined other farmers organizations to coordinate with their respective municipal or provincial agriculture’s offices on how to apply or avail the RCEF program of the government through the DA-PhilMech.
DA-Cordillera Regional Director Cameron Odsey underscored  the importance of efficient and effective handling of the machineries for the benefit of all members especially that many are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.  
“You are lucky to be among the recipients.  We hope that you will  these utilize productively among yourselves and share to other users in the community,” he said.
Renato Colayco and Saturnino Loriamas, president of the CIFA and LARIFA, thanked the concerned agencies for the machineries   and they assured that these be utilized to propel productivity and progress.
Representatives from the Office of the Congressman, Governor’s, Provincial Agriculture’s Office and the mayor of Lamut expressed their support to the program of the government and to the organizations. They advised the beneficiaries to work hand in hand and to use properly the agricultural machineries to improve their yield and profit for their families and the whole community.
 Rice mechanization is one of the components of Republic Act No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law. It stipulates the creation of the RCEF that would be funded from rice tariffs rice tariffs collections, with PHP10 billion allocated annually from 2019 to 2024 or a period of six years. – Marcelo B. Lihgawon