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Philippines Invests P81.2M into Agriculture Projects

Philippines Invests P81.2M into Agriculture Projects

02 June 2014

PHILIPPINES - The Department of Agriculture has opened four big-ticket agricultural infrastructure projects worth P81.2 million in Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur, recently, including what could be the country’s first rice mill with parboiling facility.

Representing Secretary Proceso Alcala, Assistant Secretary Edilberto De Luna of the Agri-Pinoy National Rice Program led the inauguration and turnover of P7.3-million rice mill and parboiling plant on May 12, 2014, in Purok Sunrise, Buena Gracia, Talacogon, Agusan del Sur to a farmers’ group called Agusanon Para sa Bag-ong Pilipino, Inc. (Agus Pinoy). At least 1,500 local farmers are expected to benefit from the project.

Parboiling is a process that involves soaking and then precooking of paddy rice. The facility will help improve milling recovery of the grain during deshelling and polishing, aside from improving its nutritional quality. It will also help farmers reduce postharvest losses during rainy seasons as they can directly bring their wet palay to the plant for drying. DA is proposing a similar facility in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said Asec. De Luna, who is concurrently the national coordinator for corn.

In Barangay Calagdaan, Cantilan and Brgy. Patong-patong, Madrid, both in Surigao del Sur, two rice processing centers with a combined price tag of P30.5 million -- P16.5 milion for Cantilan RPC and P14 million for Madrid RPC -- were also opened, each of which has a milling capacity of 1.2 tons per hour. An estimated 3,000 farmers tilling a total of 5,000 hectares of rice lands will benefit from the projects. Both facilities feature drying and storage components, and a warehouse where grains can be stored during rainy days or whenever there is inclement weather.

Farmer beneficiaries – led by Mr Magnao Sarim of PABANTABA Association for the Madrid RPC – thanked the government through DA for choosing them to be the recipient of the projects designed to boost farmers’ income through reduced postharvest losses and production of high quality grain. Recipient of the Cantilan RPC is the Tuyake Pederoid Domoyog (TUPEDO) Irrigators Association.

The two facilities sit on donated lands by the local government units of Madrid and Cantillan. Primary fund source was DA Regional Field Unit 13. Other project cooperators were the National Food Authority (NFA) and Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).

In Barangay Nueva Era in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, Asec. De Luna opened, on May 13, a P43.3-million pump irrigation project that will provide agricultural water to 600-hectare arable farms in San Gabriel, Veruela and Nueva Era, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur.

The irrigation facility – whose construction was spearheaded by the National Irrigation Administration – is also designed to help drain excess water in Nueva Era, which during rainy season could be totally submerged in floodwater. Nueva Era Pump Irrigation Project is located 12 kilometers from Bunawa Proper to San Gabriel, Veruela, Agusandel Sur.

The barangays covered by this project are San Gabriel in Veruela and Nueva Era in Bunawan, Agusandel Sur. These barangays comprise a potential area for Irrigation of approximately 2,500 hectares.

A farmers’ forum held at the nearby Barangay San Garbriel in Veruela, where Asec. De Luna met with an estimated 1,000 farmers and other stakeholders. He also led the turn-over of various agricultural goods and farm equipment to beneficiaries, including six draft animal with implements, two rice reapers, one hand tractor with trailer, 24 power knapsack sprayer, 24 saklob, one 4WD Farm Tractor, one Mini 4WD Tractor, livestocks, and 100 bags of tilapia feeds – all worth P3.64 million.

Also present during the open forum were OIC-Director Edna Mabeza of DA Regional Field 13, and NIA-13 Director Encarnacion Soriano, and local officials led by Agusan del Sur Governor Edward Plaza, Mayor Edwin Elorde of Bunawan and Mayor Salimar Mondejar of Veruela. 

TheCropSite News Desk

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