KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/14 April) – The Department of Agriculture has recently extended P21-million worth of farm machineries to boost farmers’ productivity in the region, officials said.
Amalia J. Datukan, DA Region 12 director, said the intervention was part of government’s efforts for the country to become self-sufficient in food production.
Agricultural machineries worth P18.5 million that included threshers, hand tractors and four-wheel drive tractors were awarded to 126 farmers’ associations in the four provinces and two cities through a project proposal basis.
Datukan said that 85 percent of the total cost was shouldered by the agriculture department while the 15 percent was the equity counterpart of the proponents.
“This “85-15 counterpart scheme encourages a sense of ownership on the part of the beneficiaries,” she said.
Apart from this, the DA also awarded P2.4-million worth of farm equipment to five outstanding irrigators’ associations in the region.
To ensure the successful implementation of the project, Datukan said that a team would closely and regularly monitor the farm equipment given to the beneficiaries.
DA Assistant Secretary Dante S. de Lima, who is also the national rice coordinator, urged the beneficiaries to take good care of the farm machineries.
He said the DA is hoping the farm machineries would positively affect their lives.
Datukan appealed to the beneficiaries to refrain from selling or mortgaging the farm machineries given to them.
Also called SOCCSKSARGEN, the region covers the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
The DA is currently rolling the so-called Agri Pinoy Food Staples Self-sufficiency Program and the Agri Pinoy Rice Program Mechanization Project. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)