OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, August 26, 2021 – Seventy-eight Buhid-Mangyan farmers in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro received Php 897,000 worth of hand tractors from the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program.
A hand tractor with complete accessories was granted to the Uyugan mga Ama sa Bato Ili As Fangabuyagan Farmers Association (UABF FA) with 28 members. Meanwhile, the So. Dulis Abong Salafay Hubkob Farmers Association (S. DASH FA) with 50 members received five units.
The provision of said machinery is under SAAD’s Organic Rice Production through Farming Enterprise Project. Both associations are engaged in rain-fed rice farming.
According to SAAD Area Coordinator Jercel N. Catubig, the beneficiaries’ profiles reveal that their average rice harvest is about 1,000 to 1,500 kilograms (kg) or 20 to 30 cavans per hectare. It means that the farmers’ yield is low compared to the normal harvest per cropping season at 5,000kg (100 cavans) per hectare.
The beneficiaries reported that one of the reasons affecting their low productivity is lack of farm equipment, where farmers still rely on draft animals for land preparation which is slower compared to mechanized equipment.
The hand tractors awarded to the farmers are SAAD’s response to address said problem. They are used to pull plow and harrow, providing faster land preparation for larger land areas and can also be attached to a carrier to be used as transportation of goods from farms to markets.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa natanggap naming (mga makinarya). Iingatan namin ito para matagal naming magamit para makaabot kami sa tag-ulan (na mainam sa pagtatanim ng palay). Makakaani na kami ng mas malaki-laki,” shared S. DASH FA chairperson Balingling Payune.
[We are grateful for (the hand tractors) we received. We will take care of it so we can use it longer and we will not be late for the rainy season (which is ideal for rice planting). We will be able to harvest more.]
DASH FA and UABF FA are situated in Barangay Monteclaro, one of the 19 End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) identified areas in Occidental Mindoro.###
Writer: Dianne Francis A. Sy, SAAD Information Officer I
Source: Jercel N. Catubig, SAAD Area Coordinator – San Jose