GUIGUINTO, Bulacan – Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado is motivating children of farmers in the province to pursue “mechanized farming” and help make the country as a major exporter of rice grains again.
Alvarado delivered the encouraging message during the opening program of the “Provincial Training on Binhi ng Pag-asa”, a program for young Filipino farmers of the Department of Agriculture at the Klir Resort in Bgy. Sta. Rita here Tuesday.
He told the participants that there was a time when the Philippines was among the biggest rice producing countries in the world and had the best agricultural training institute in Asia where today’s major rice exporting countries like Vietnam and Thailand had their farmers trained and studied.
The governor said that it is high time to make this change because industrialization is coming, adding that farmers should not be blinded by the lure of easy money by selling their fields. He said that with modern highways linked to farm-to-market roads, agricultural products now has easy access to market and profits.
Alvarado also said that he is thankful that despite urbanization and agricultural land conversion, the province still manages to be one of the top contributors in the nation’s rice production. He credited it to the Bulakenyo farmers who tirelessly work on their farms with dedication.
“Kailangang ipagpatuloy ng mga anak ng magsasaka ang trabaho ng kanilang mga magulang. ‘Wag tayong maakit sa madaliang pagyaman. Sapagkat tumataas na ang presyo ng ating mga bukid, ibebenta na lamang natin. Remember na napakaraming Pilipino ang pakakainin nito, maging ang mga susunod na salinlahi,” the governor said.
He also agreed with Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food and who also served as the guest speaker on the awarding ceremony, that mechanization is the key in order to enhance competitiveness and productivity in rice production.
“Kailangang tulungan ng gobyerno ang ating mga magsasaka upang matuto silang gumamit ng mga makabagong kagamitan. Sa gayon, mababawasan ang kanilang labor cost at tataas ang kanilang kita,” added Alvarado.
Later in the day, Alvarado together with Vice Gov. Daniel Fernando, Dir. Chrispulo G. Bautista of the Department of Agriculture-Field Office III and Provincial Agriculturist Ma. Gloria SF. Carillo led the distribution of farm equipment and machinery to farmer beneficiaries at the Malolos Sports Center in Bgy. Sta. Isabel, City of Malolos, Bulacan.
Alvarado and Fernando distributed 16 mini four-wheel tractors and four reapers or harvesters to farmers’ groups and cooperatives in Bulacan. –Emil G. Gamos