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Farm Mechanisation Promoted to Increase Rice Production

10 October 2013

PHILIPPINES - The Department of Agriculture (DA) is looking to raise the mechanisation level of farms in the country to more than two horsepower per hectare (hp/ha) in the next three years to catch up with other Asian countries.

PhilMech Executive Director Rex Bingabing said that the need to promote farm mechanisation is very vital since the level of mechanisation in the Philippines is at 1.2 hp/ha which is way behind other Asian countries like Thailand which has mechanisation level of 2.7 hp/ha.

Towards this end, the Agriculture department is replicating the agricultural machinery road shows dubbed “Makina Saka 2013” in major island clusters for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to showcase new farming machinery, equipment, systems and gadgets.

Makina Saka 2013 aims to gather the latest agricultural machinery in the market to gear up the level of mechanisation in the country in support to the food self-sufficiency program of the Department of Agriculture particularly the National Rice Program which has a Rice mechanisation component.

For Luzon, nearly 2,000 farmer leaders and advocates from Regions I, II, III, IV-A, IV-B, V and CAR participated in the five-day Luzon-wide “Makina-Saka” or Agri-Machinery Roadshow hosted by the province of Pangasinan from 30 September to 4 October.

Mr Bingabing said the event helped farmers decide on what machineries to adopt for their farming activities.

Farm machines like tractors, rice transplanters, reapers, state-of-the-art mechanical harvesters , multi-pass rice mills and other latest production and postproduction technologies were displayed and demonstrated by members of the Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers and Distributors Association, Inc. (AMMDA), other local farm equipment manufacturers, government institutions and DA agencies.

The event also included discussions on the government’s farm mechanisation program such as land preparation technologies, state of mechanisation in the Philippines, machinery manufacturing distribution and regulation efforts and programs and financial analysis of different mechanisation and postharvest facilities.

The discussions provided greater awareness on the advantage of farm mechanisation and strategies on how to make farms more profitable.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala emphasized that modern farm machineries are not meant to replace farm workers.

Thus, these machines are introduced so that farmers can compare that production using modern equipment is higher than when farmers resort to traditional farming modes.

TheCropSite News Desk

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