MALOLOS CITY (PIA) — A total of 37 farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCA) as well as local government units (LGUs) in the province of Bulacan received agricultural machinery from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech).
This initiative is funded under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program.
PHilMech Director Joel Dator disclosed that the P59.18-million worth of awarded grants include 14 four-wheeled tractors, 15 hand tractors, four walk-behind transplanters, nine riding-type transplanters, two precision rice seeders, five rice combine harvesters, and four single-pass rice mills.
The beneficiaries were from the cities of Malolos, Baliwag and San Jose del Monte as well as from the municipalities of Calumpit, Paombong, Pulilan, Plaridel, San Ildefonso, San Miguel, San Rafael, Bocaue, Pandi, Angat and Santa Maria.
Nagkakaisang Magsasaka Irrigators Association Inc. Chairperson Lolita Coronel said having a rice combine harvester, locally known as “Halimaw”, will ensure high-quality rice harvest.
“The machinery will expedite the process of rice harvest in 146 hectares of farmland at barangays Tabon and Dulong Malabon in Pulilan. It will also help our 150 farmer-members from collecting the rice stalks up to rice threshing,” she added.
PHilMech has provided about P453.6 million worth of machinery in Bulacan since the RCEF was implementedin 2019.
These RCEF-funded farm machinery gave a big boost in improving rice harvest in the province.
Data from the Provincial Agriculture Office showed rice harvest in Bulacan posted 174,338 metric tons during the dry season of 2022 up to 2023 planted in about 33,981 hectares of farmland.
This is higher than the 160,266 metric tons planted in 32,925 hectares in the same season from 2021 to 2022.
Rice harvest during the wet season of 2023, on the other hand, was 173,160 metric tons in 39,083 hectares of farmlands. (CLJD/SFV-PIA 3)