CATANDUANES, December 17, 2021 – The Rainfed Island’s Rice Grower Association (RIRGA) received agricultural machinery from the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program as an initiative for the association’s farm mechanization, aiding rice cultivation and opening opportunities to render service for additional income.
The DA-SAAD turned over a hand tractor with trailer, a thresher, a brush cutter, a collapsible dryer and 100 laminated sacks worth Php 321,000 under the Upland Rice Production Project. The interventions were distributed in Kilikilihan, San Miguel, Catanduanes in November 2021.
The machinery will aid 50 upland rice farmers with total of 32 hectares tillable area from Suchan, Bagamanoc, and Kilikilihan to increase production and sustain farming income.
Prior to the provision of agricultural machinery, the association already received farm inputs such as 100 bags of rice seed, 100 bags of fertilizer, 1,200 empty sacks, and five draft animals from the DA-SAAD throughout the year (June and August). SAAD Bicol Region allocated Php 376,500 budget for the execution of the said project.
The RIRGA was established and registered in 2019 under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and became a SAAD group beneficiary in the same year.
Present during the turnover were Municipal Agriculturist (MA) Cherryl T. Tatel and Rice Agricultural Technician Florence Teanila from the local government unit (LGU) San Miguel.
Barangay Captain Larry Bernal expressed support to the farmers and the SAAD Program by providing logistics aspects during the turnover ceremony.
MA Tatel shared, “Maswerte sila (RIRGA) kasi sila ay beneficiary ng package, ingatan sana nila at gumawa ng agreement kung magkano ang renta para mayroong pang-maintenance ng machine (They are lucky to be the beneficiary of the package, take care of it and make an agreement on how much will be the rental fee for the maintenance of the machinery.)”
“Sana mag extend pa ng year at beneficiary (I hope the year and beneficiary will be extended),” she added.
RIRGA member Consolacion Zuniega expressed her gratitude to the DA-SAAD. She said, “Ang SAAD nagtao siya ning dakulang tabang sa samuya ta haros ang mga gamit dae mi pwede bakalon kaya, dakula ang pasasalamat mi sa SAAD ta ibinali kami ninda. Lalo pa ngunyan sa panahon ning pagtios baga dae man talaga kami makaka acquire kaiyan (SAAD is a huge help, because we cannot really purchase such machinery on our own, hence, we are really grateful because we were included in SAAD especially during this trying time that we cannot acquire those.)”
RIRGA also plans to maximize the machinery received from the DA-SAAD through rental service to other rice farmers as an income source to be allocated for repair and maintenance and savings for the association fund. ###
Writer: Angelica A. Blanco, RPMSO Information Officer
Sources: Melrose B. Buetre, SAAD Catanduanes Provincial Coordinator
Photo sources: Melrose B. Buetre, SAAD Catanduanes Provincial Coordinator