The Department of Agriculture has allotted P400 million for the purchase of farm implements in Western Visayas this year under its Farm Mechanization Program.
Agriculture regional executive director, Larry Nacionales, said there has been an increase in the awareness of farmers on the benefits of mechanized farming, specifically on higher profit because of reduced losses due to wastage.
Nacionales said that under the Farm Mechanization Program, the government will shoulder 85 percent of the cost while the recipients share a counterpart fund of 15 percent.
The opportunity is open only to organized groups such as irrigators' associations or farmers cooperative. If they could not afford the counterpart fund, then it is encouraged that local government units help in providing for the funds.
Last year, some P80 million were downloaded each to the provinces of Iloilo and Negros Occidental, he added.
This year, he disclosed that the focus would be on the purchase of collapsible dryers and laminated sacks that are essential to hasten the drying of palay.
The regional director added that with more farmers taking interest, the region would expect a bigger budget next year.
On July 4-6, Nacionales will lead the Visayas cluster in the “Makina Saka 2012” an agri-machinery roadshow of the DA to be held at the World Trade Center.
The cluster is composed of delegates from the irrigators' associations, farmers cooperatives, government sector, agri-fishery councils, LGUs and local producers from Western, Central and Eastern Visayas.
The roadshow will showcase latest technology from land preparation to post-harvest equipment that can be utilized by farmers.*PNA