DA, LGUs in Region XI to procure 10 tractors to help mechanize agriculture

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 Sept) – Local government units (LGU) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the Davao region will procure 10 farm tractors this year as part of the effort to mechanize agriculture.

DA regional director Constancio C. Maghanoy Jr. said his office will turnover on Friday (Sept. 28) its equity worth P1.2 million for each of the 10 farm tractors that will be procured by its counterpart LGUs.

He said the turnover of equity is part of the culmination program of the four-day 8th Philippine National Corn Congress being held at the Waterfront Insular Hotel here.

This city will have 3 of the 10 farm tractors, while the LGUs of Digos City, Island Garden City of Samal, New Corella in Davao del Norte, Manay and Caraga in Davao Oriental will have one unit each, and the provincial government of Davao Oriental will have two units.

City Agriculturist Office chief Leo Avila III said in a text message the tractors will be utilized primarily in farming districts with Marilog, Paquibato and Toril as priority areas.

Citing that a utilization plan for these tractors will be formulated, he said the mechanization of farming will result in increased productivity and output.

He said land preparation is a basic requisite to planting.

“The faster we can prepare the land, the bigger the area that can be utilized, and the higher volume is expected. The more profit to the farmers,” he said.

He added that the tractors will also be utilized in responding to landslide and road accessibility so that the city does not have to wait for the City Engineer’s Office when a disaster happens.

Meanwhile, the lack of mechanization in farming has limited farmers in maximizing farm wastes for fertilizing their land, according to Dr. Apolonio M. Ocampo, researcher and affiliate assistant professor at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB).

Ocampo was a resource person for corn research technology during the corn congress.

He said the Institute of Plant Breeding at UPLB recommends the practice of “plow under” among farmers, especially for those planting corn. Instead of burning wastes of harvested plants, he said these can be plowed under the soil to help in recovering the fertility of the soil.

He added that such recommended practice cannot be applied using carabaos but can only be done using farm tractors, noting that most small farmers in the country still have backward farming system. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro / MindaNews)