OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, December 3, 2021 – Forty (40) farm service providers joined the training on machinery operation and management conducted by the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) of Magsaysay with the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program to upgrade beneficiaries’ service offerings using farm machinery and equipment.
In his opening remarks, Municipal Agriculturist Richard Ochavez said that the training will benefit the association as a whole and each individual. The skills that the attendees will gain from the activity can be advantageous for those who aspire to work overseas.
Spearheaded by Engr. Rodolf Asejo, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-assessor and Provincial Farm Mechanization (Farm-Mech) Focal Person, the two participating associations namely Nagkakaisang Samahan ng Laste Farmers Association (NSL FA) and Calawag Service Provider Association (CSPA) were taught on principles and systems of land preparation, basic operation, and maintenance of hand tractor and four-wheel tractor.
“Biktima kayo ng farm mechanization. Noong wala pang rice transplanter [at ibang mga makinaryang pansaka], kayo na ang service provider sa pamamagitan ng manu-manong paraan. Noong pumasok ang mga makinarya, nawalan kayo ng trabaho [You (farmers) are victims of farm mechanization. Back when there was no rice transplanter (and other farm machines), you provided service through manual labor. When machines became available, you lost your jobs],” Engr. Asejo said.
He added that farmworkers who were displaced because of farm mechanization are prioritized to receive machinery inputs to continue their service using machines and equipment through different projects such as the DA-SAAD.
The associations received five hand tractors in FY 2019 under the Provision of Machinery to Service Provider Project and an additional unit was given to each group in FY 2020.
Engr. Asejo emphasized that high-quality farm service contributes to good plant growth and effective application of farm inputs leads to higher yield.
If the associations are equipped in rendering high-quality service, it will secure higher profit for the group. SAAD plans to make this happen by developing the proper skills of farmers in operating farm machinery.
“Kapag maganda ang serbisyo ninyo at tumaas ang inani at kita ng sinerbisyohan ninyo, syempre kayo na lagi ang kukuhanin nilang service provider. Masisigurado ang inyong kita at darating ang araw na lahat ng farm service – mula sa land preparation hanggang post-harvest – kayo na ang magbibigay (If your services are good and the harvest and income of your client increased, it will guarantee you your clients. Your income will be secured and, in the future, you might be able to provide all farm services from land preparation to post-harvest),” Engr. Asejo said.
At the end of the training, 50 liters of diesel and two (2) liters of lubricant were awarded to each association as assistance.
The MAO plans to maintain links of associations with the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) to provide additional farm machines such as combined harvester and mechanical dryer to the beneficiaries to expand their services.
By next year, the office is also eyeing to tap the TESDA to provide Rice Machinery NCII course for the beneficiaries.
The conduct of specialized training is part of the social preparation component of the program to ensure readiness and empowerment of SAAD beneficiaries in managing the project. ###
Writer: Dianne Francis A. Sy, SAAD Information Officer I
Vilmar J. Robes, SAAD Area Coordinator – Magsaysay
Engr. Rodolf Asejo, Provincial Farm Mechanization (Farm Mech) Focal Person, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist