Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Standardized Mechanization Program Pushed by DA

100% National Rice Self-Sufficiency can be attained and that is why the Department of Agriculture is pushing for standardized mechanization in agriculture.

This particularly important in the rice-producing sector of agriculture since standardized mechanization will reduce post-harvest losses and would lead to the above-mentioned objective. The reduction in post-harvest losses will ameliorate the three million metric tons (MT) of rice losses annually.

 “Japan, for example, has a 16 percent mechanization rate while our country has only two percent mechanization rate. If we can lessen post-harvest loss by at least six to eight percent, we can already achieve rice sufficiency,” DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said.

 “If we wish to help farmers increase their productivity and income, let’s give them the best, so we can also change their mindset,” the DA Secretary further added.

This standardized mechanization program will also be complemented by the use of high yielding hybrid rice varieties that will translate to increased production and higher quality of rice yields.

 “By simply planting hybrid rice on our farms, we can increase harvest and income. We don’t even have to expand production areas,” Piñol disclosed.

The objective is to increase the level of mechanization to 4-horsepower per hectare as what is standard in ASEAN countries according to the Philippine Center for Post-Harvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech). 

Currently, the average horse[power per hectare in the country is 3-horsepower per hectare.

According to PhilMech, a boost in the budget for mechanization will enable Filipino farmers to be at par with the farmers in Thailand and Vietnam, both rice exporting countries.

“Our new advocacy is to develop and commercialize the technologies where stakeholders will be the ones to tell us what they want and need, then we will address their concerns,” PhilMech stated.

Standardized Mechanization together with the use of hybrid rice varieties as adopted by farmers and agricultural cooperatives will make the target of National Rice Self-Sufficiency attainable soon.

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The Mail Man

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