August 5, 2022
𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐤𝐚𝐲𝐨, 𝐃𝐚𝐯𝐚𝐨 𝐝𝐞 𝐎𝐫𝐨 —Thursday, July 27, 2023, marked a noteworthy advancement for Davao de Oro’s agriculture sector as the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) handed over agricultural infrastructures and machinery to the province through its Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program.
The turnover ceremony took place at Davao de Oro Farm, Brgy. Pasian, in Monkayo town. Around Php 7.9M worth of facilities, including two mechanical grain dryers with biomass and petroleum-based heating systems and one precision rice seeder, were received by the provincial government led by Davao de Oro Governor Dorothy Montejo-Gonzaga.
The rice precision seeder represents a ride-on planting device designed to accurately deposit the appropriate seed quantity at precise depths and intervals, leading to a consistent distribution of plants. This innovation reduces the need for extensive labor and lowers planting expenses. At the same time, the mechanical drier is expected to significantly aid rice producers in minimizing postharvest losses, especially when faced with adverse weather conditions.
Asst. Director Dr. Ofero A. Capariño, standing in for Dr. Dionisio G. Alvindia, the DA-PHilMech Director, stated that the dryer and precision seeder are an augmentation to the array of agricultural equipment previously provided to the province between 2019 and 2022, totaling Php 189.8M.
“Kung may hihingin kami, ito ay alagaan, pakaingatan, mahalin at siguraduhing ang mga libreng makinarya na inyung natanggap ay aabot sa susunod na henerasyon” Asst. Director Capariño said.
He added that PHilMech is advocating for “youth for mechanization”, saying “ini-encourage din po namin ang ating mga anak 18-35 years old, pwede po silang sumali sa programa namin. Sila ay tuturuan ng mga makabagong makinarya ng pagsasaka including drone application sa pagfertilize, sa pag-spray ng pesticides … sana madiscover natin sila kasi hindi na mahirap ang pagsasaka gaya na iniisip nila”.
In addition, an extra amount of Php 875K was provided by DA-Agricultural Training Institute XI for the Province-Led Agriculture and Fishery Extension System (PAFES) Capability Development Support which aims to strengthen the abilities of LGUs in implementing crucial agricultural and fishery initiatives through the Collaborative Provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Program (CPAFEP).
Meanwhile, DA-International Training Center on Pig Husbandry (ATI-ITCPH) XI also led the groundbreaking and capsule laying ceremony for a Php 10M Swine Multiplier and Technology Demonstration Farm Project, through DA’s Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE) Program, at the same location.
Establishing this swine farm project or nucleus breeder farm will assist swine farm facilities such as Farmers’ Cooperative Associations (FCAs), Private Farms, and other beneficiaries by ensuring the direct supply of high genetic quality breeds of pigs while also restoring swine production and continuous supply of swine and pork products locally.
According to PSA’s 2018 swine statistics, the hog production in the province was estimated to be worth over Php 1.98B. Nevertheless, the swine sector faced significant challenges in 2020 due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) which impacted 37 barangays in all municipalities, resulting in the loss of 3,557 heads. The considerable inventory of 58,356 heads recorded in December 2022 strongly indicates the urgency of replenishing the hog population in the province.
DA XI, with the help of LGUs and private sectors, continued its efforts to implement biosecurity measures, intensified border control and quarantine measures, active disease surveillance & monitoring, and other measures to control and mitigate the spread of the virus that impede swine production.
In her message, Governor Gonzaga expressed sincere gratitude to DA and gave reassurances of the province’s commitment to fulfilling its obligations and handling the abundant resources provided with utmost care and efficiency as also part of her advocacy of good governance.
“We appreciate so much nga napilian gyud ninyu ug nakit-an ninyu ang among probinsya ug ang katawhan nga nanginahanglan gyud sa inyung panabang… amo gyud ning ampingan” said Governor Gonzaga.
Further, PLGU-Davao de Oro and DA also forged a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to enhance their collaboration, leading to greater advantages for the province’s fisherfolk and farmers. (Jaynus Fernandez)
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