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Apayao beneficiaries earn Php 1.9M as machine service provider

APAYAO, August 19, 2021– The Malekkeg, Emiliana, San Carlos, San Antonio (MESS) Farmers Association (FA) in Sta. Marcela, Apayao registered a gross income of more than Php 1.9 million as a service provider of rice combine harvester for 7 cropping seasons.

The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) delivered the machinery worth Php 2.4 million in 2018.

The rice combine harvester enabled the association to provide farm labor services within and to the nearby communities. According to MESS FA chairperson Andres Froilan, the group offers services on:

  1. Reaping – cutting the mature panicle and straw above ground;
  2. Threshing – separating paddy grain from the cut crop;
  3. Cleaning – removing immature unfilled, non-grain material;
  4. Bagging- putting the threshed grain in bags for transport and storage; and
  5. Hauling – moving the cut crop to the threshing location.

Andres said that the machinery makes the harvesting process easier and faster. He said the adaptation of technology in agriculture gives comfort and efficiency from being a service provider until the hauling process.


The group is composed of 42 members who rely on rice farming as their source of income. In 2017, the association was identified to receive agricultural inputs from the SAAD Program and was registered in the same year under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

The group is composed of members from four barangays – Malekkeg, Emiliana, San Carlos, and San Antonio.

“Agnanayun kami nga agyam yaman iti SAAD program iti panagited da iti opurtunidad. Ta nu idi ket dakami iti agbiruk iti pagubraan, tattan ket dakami iti biruken iti pagubra [We are very grateful for the SAAD program for allowing us to become service providers. Before we used to look for a job but now, people ask for our service],”  shared Andres.

Andres also attested that the intervention improved their economic status as it provided them additional income. According to him, members of the group are seasonal farm laborers, earning Php 1,250/week each. This income is not sufficient for a decent living as they could only afford 2-3 kilograms of weekly rice supply for their families.

Through SAAD’s rice combine harvester, machine operators during the cropping season get an additional estimated income of Php 1000 for each of the 12 weeks of the cropping season.

Income as service providers

Through SAAD’s rice combine harvester, machine operators during the cropping season get an additional estimated income of Php 1000 for each of the 12 weeks of the cropping season.

In four years from 2018 up to July 2021, the group already earned Php 1,972,697 (Table 1). According to Andres, their income in 2020 declined because of the restrictions due to the CoVID-19 pandemic.

“Idi tawen nga 2020, bimaba iti kita mi ta marirgatan kami mapan makitalon ta halos madi met mabalin rumwar dituy barangay mi gapo iti epekto iti COVID-19 lockdowm,pasaray nu makarwar kami ket limited pay iti oras mi nga agyan iti ruwar gapo iti curfew hours,”  shared Andres.

[In the year 2020, we didn’t earn that much because of the effect of CoVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions imposed on our barangay. During those periods, we are lucky if we get a chance to render service in farm areas but since there are restrictions, our time is limited due to curfew hours.]

Table 1. Gross income generated from harvester

According to Andres, their clients are private landowners. In each machine operation, the labor cost is subdivided into 6 people: the combine harvester operator, jeepney driver, and four palay baggers.

In exchange for their service, they are earning a minimum of Php 5,200 per hectare served, which allows the group to earn Php 1,210,041 for the 232.7 hectares (ha) of rice area served during the dry seasons from 2018 until 2021.

The same amount is charged per hectare during the wet seasons. The group earned Php 762,656 for 146.66ha of rice area harvested in 2018 and 2020.

From their savings, the group was able to purchase a garage shed worth Php 44,305 in 2018, a water pump worth Php 5,700 as means of moving water to maintain cleanliness of the machine, and a pre-owned jeepney worth Php 80,000 for logistic purposes in 2019.

Andres shared that their success would not be possible if they did not embrace the opportunity. “Iti determinasyon mi a kas association, haan kami lang nga makaurnong iti pagbiyag mi nu di kitdin makatulong kami iti production iti rice dituy ili mi,” he shared.

[With our determination as an association, we are not only earning for our daily living but we are also contributing to the rice production in our municipality.]

Part of their expenses is members’ incentives and maintenance of the machinery. From 2018 to 2021, maintenance reached up to Php 1.7 million, including incentives of members, fuel, oil filter, oil change, and replacement of destroyed machine parts. In total, the group had a net income of Php 181,129 (Table 2).

Table 2. MESS FAs Net Income

Strengthening the association

To manage their earnings, the group agreed to organize cropping cycle earnings for production and savings where 35% will be allotted for machine maintenance and incentives, 30% for labor costs, and 35% for the association’s savings account.

With their total earnings, Froilan shared that they are planning to purchase an additional truck for hauling to replace their old jeepney. ###


Writer: Kathleen Faye B. Agonoy, Information officer I, SAAD Apayao

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