LAOAG CITY, Aug. 10— Farmers in Paoay, Ilocos Norte are the latest recipient of a brand new rice and corn harvester courtesy of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Worth Php 2.2 million, the Banag-Lussoot-Laplapog (Baluspog) farmers’ association in Nagbacalan village said they are grateful for the project as it will certainly boost their productivity while reducing their cost of input.
Compared to traditional harvesting system, Edward Tabili of Nagbacalan village said Thursday the use of mechanical harvester makes their work faster and easier.
During the harvest season, most farmers in this northern part of Luzon still resort to manual harvest which is labor-intensive.
As part of enabling farmers to be at par with Southeast Asian neighbors, the Department of Agriculture is promoting farm mechanization and consolidated farming systems to bring down the cost of labor.
The DA hopes to bring down total production cost of rice to Php8 ($0.18) or Php8.50 ($0.19) by combining mechanization with improved irrigation and affordable loaning schemes for farmers.
Backing this move, the local government unit of Paoay also provides soft loan assistance to farmer associations to ensure that they will no longer turn to big time capitalists whenever they are short of money to sustain the growth of their crops.