Thursday, February 11, 2016

Modernizing the Philippine agri sector

The Philippine government aims to attain farm modernization at 4-horsepower per hectare (HP/ha) to be able to meet the requirements of the regional integration and be at par with its ASEAN neighbors.

“We are getting there,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said stressing that recent reports show the local agriculture, particularly the rice sector, is now close to 3 HP/ha.

“This number is double the 2010 status at ¾ or .75HP/ha,” he added.

The agri chief stressed that part of the mechanization program is enhancing and building the capabilities of farmers to be service providers.

“Aside from providing state-of-the-art machines and facilities, we will provide farmers trainings on how to operate these high-tech equipment and how to run a business,” he said.

The local agri scene has been undergoing major development thru the interventions downloaded by the Department of Agriculture regional field units to farmers’ groups and associations.

Alcala has been visiting rural communities across the country as part of the national drive to reduce the gap between the government and the Filipino people.

Last week, Alcala together with agriculture regional directors and agency heads visited Tuguegarao in the Cagayan Valley Region for the Farmers’ and Agricultural Extensionists’ Congress. More than 8,000 farmers, fishers and other stakeholders participated.

“The government will continue to provide assistance to you, but you have to tell us what you need, it has to come from you,” he said.

Since 2010, DA has distributed thousands of units of farm equipment and facilities including high-powered four-wheel drive tractors, combine harvesters, and rice mills, among others. (DA)

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