POST-HARVEST FACILITIES. Officials of the Department of Agriculture Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech), the provincial government of Pangasinan, and local government units of Manaoag and Natividad towns sign a memorandum for the turnover of the post-harvest facilities to farmers' cooperatives and associations. The ceremonial turnover was held on Thursday (May 5, 2022). (Photo courtesy of DA)

MANAOAG, Pangasinan – Two farmers' groups in the towns of Manaoag and Natividad have received post-harvest facilities worth PHP8 million each from the Department of Agriculture Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech).

In his message during the ceremonial turnover on Thursday, Manaoag municipal agriculture officer Raul Geronimo said the post-harvest facilities will be a “great help” to the farmers-cooperative.

“Due to climate change, our farmers find it hard to dry their produce hence, at times they used the roads as dryers and we could not prevent them from doing so due to the lack of facility,” he said.

Geronimo said losses were high when they dry their produce at the sides of the roads, resulting in reduced production.

“Eventually, this project is a one-stop-shop rice processing system where they could dry, store, and process their produce,” he added.

Each of the farmers’ cooperatives and associations in the two towns received a single-pass rice mill and mobile grain dryer.

“The proper post-harvest technology improves good quality of produce thus, empowering and improving the lives of our farmers,” Geronimo said.

DA-PhilMech director Dionisio Alvindia said the facilities were given to the farmers from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund under the rice tarrification law.

“The government is giving these facilities for free. We are asking that you gave your heart to this project and have a concern for the facilities. Take good care of the facilities,” he said in his speech during the program.

The distribution of the machinery aims to increase the harvest and income of the farmers by using the appropriate farm mechanization technologies and equipment from planting to harvesting.

The national government has implemented the RCEF to provide assistance to farmers as compensation for the projected loss of farm income arising from the rice tariffication. (PNA)