ANTIQUE, October 12, 2022 – Fifty (50) farm service providers joined the training on machine operation and maintenance facilitated by the Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD), in three target municipalities in Antique on September 15.
Twenty (20) rice farmers of Sinundolan ISF Upland Farmers Association (SISUFA) received an actual demonstration on how to operate, maintain and troubleshoot a rice mill. Meanwhile, 15 corn growers of Lumpatan San Remigio Antique Farmers Association, Inc. (LSRAFAI), 7 from Brgy. Takas Farmers Association (BTFA) and 8 Takas Imbangga-an Tangke Irrigators Association (TITIA) in Valderrama received hands-on Training on Corn Mill Operation and Maintenance.
As the training resource person, Mr. Joebert Sabido, Service Manager of Agricom Visayas Incorporated, tutored the participants on machine operation from its components and parts, maintenance, troubleshooting, and proper disposition.
Since the machines granted to the FAs all have integrated motor and diesel engines for milling, the recipients can reduce their operating costs and need not worry about momentary power interruptions. The machine, with approved specifications, has a warranty that can be endorsed to the supplier if any deficiencies or malfunction shall occur.
The said training is expected to develop the skills of farm service providers in operating such machinery and consequently render quality service to fellow farmers while securing higher profit.
The 84 members of SISUFA have an existing 95 hectares (ha) consolidated rice production area. To support their livelihood, they became a beneficiary of SAAD’s FY 2019 Livelihood for Enhanced Rice with Corn, Organic Lowland Vegetable, Vermicast Production, Livestock and Poultry-related Activities. Under the project, 20 bags of certified rice seeds, 73 bags of inorganic fertilizer, agrochemicals, 1 unit of hand tractor, and a unit pump and engine were provided to the association.
In the following year, they were granted machinery from the FY 2020 Rice Production with Corn, High-Value Crops, Poultry Animals and Post-Harvest Facilities in support of the 2019 Rice Production project. The postharvest machinery they accepted was a unit of collapsible dryer intended for drying their grains while maximizing the use of solar energy without the need for fuel or electricity.
In 2021, however, 11 caracows, 11 plows, and 11 harrows were delivered to them as per FA’s proposal since farming in the uplands, which consists mostly of areas with steep slopes, makes use of draft animals.
For this year, a rice mill unit was provided to the association intended to provide service for Sinundolan and neighboring barangays as part of self-sufficiency efforts through community-based enterprise.
Part of the group’s policy is to divide the generated income from the mill into four parts: 10% allocation for the rent where the rice mill is kept, 30% to the association’s savings, 30% to operators, and 30% for operation and maintenance-related expenses.
Mr. Compisor Solomon, SISUFA President, expressed how grateful his association is for the provision, “Kami nagapasalamat gid sa DA tungod ila guid ginpatupa ang amon nahingyo nga bulig. Nagmayad guid amon pangita kag kabay pa nga sa sini nga training, kami makahatag serbisyo sa amon kapwa-mangunguma kag madugangan amon pondo halin sa kita ka rice mill.”
(We are thankful for the DA because they stayed true to their promise of providing us with what we asked for. We have seen progress in our income and we hope that through this training, we can provide service to our fellow farmers and generate income out of the rice mill.)
Participants of the said training expect more abundant production of rice by-products, with reduced time, energy, and resources spent on rice processing as a whole. As a service provider, SISUFA earned a total income of Php 21,500 serving a 43ha production area.
Meanwhile, of the 95 corn growers of Lumpatan San Remigio Antique Farmers Association, Inc., 15 attended the training and were equipped with the basics of corn mill operation and maintenance. They learned what by-products can be made from the corn mill which includes corn bran and different sizes of corn grits.
Moreover, Lumpatan farmers plan to become service providers,s and the corn grits produced will be sold and utilized as feed for the native chicken they tend.
From 2019 to 2021, 19 bags of Open-Pollinated Variety (OPV) yellow corn seeds were provided to Lumpatan SRAFAI under the corn project with 84 bags of inorganic fertilizer, 1 unit of corn sheller, and insecticide.
The corn seeds they harvested in 2021 were milled and the by-products made out of their produce were used as feeds for their native chicken and hog. This year, the group recently harvested a volume of 23.4 metric tons from their 9ha production area with an income of Php 257,000.
LSRAFAI received 1 unit of corn sheller under FY 2019 Corn Production Project. The following year, a unit of the collapsible dryer was provided as a support component for FY 2020 Rice Production with High-Value Crops with Post-Harvest Facilities. Moreover, a unit of corn mill was delivered to them this year in support of their corn and rice production.
BTFA and TITIA
In Valderrama, however, members of Barangay Takas Farmers Association and Takas Imbangga-an Tangke Irrigators Association joined the same training on September 16. The activity was participated by Valderrama Mayor Jocelyn Posadas, OIC-MAO Ms. Jonessa Grace Gargueña, LGU staff and farmer representatives.
BTFA, a SAAD beneficiary since 2021, was granted corn seeds (40 bags), inorganic fertilizer (140 bags), plow (7 pcs), harrow (7 pcs), caracow (10 heads), and corn sheller (2 units) under FY 2021 Corn Production Project. Moreover, plow (5 units), harrow (5 units), caracow (5 units), a unit tractor and a unit corn mill were given as in-support for 2021 Corn Production in Valderrama.
In March 2021, BTFA harvested 159 sacks of corn cobs and recorded a total net income of Php 47,550 out of their 5ha production area. This August, the association started planting and expects harvest in November, just in time for the SAAD Trade Fair and Exhibit facilitated by the program for farmers and fisherfolk exhibitors.
TITIA also received the same project which was delivered in August 2021 comprising of corn seeds (40 bags), inorganic fertilizer (140 bags), plows (7 pieces), harrows (7 pieces), caracows (10 heads), and corn shellers (2 units).
In 2022, harrow (5 units), plow (5 units), caracow (5 units), a unit hand tractor, a unit corn mill and a unit corn sheller were then provided to support their FY 2021 corn production project.
TITIA harvested 56 sacks of corn, cultivated on their 1.5ha corn plantation. From August to December 2021, TITIA earned Php 46,270 net from SAAD corn project. Read at https://bit.ly/3C9HEGa.
Corn Mill Operation and Service Provision
The postharvest machinery and skills harnessed among the participants are expected to boost the production volume of corn by-products in their respective areas.
The collective efforts of the DA toward farm mechanization are evident through the machinery and equipment provided that aims to modernize agricultural manual operations to ensure efficiency in the field. ###
Writer: Cedie C. Bataga, DA-SAAD Region 6 Information Officer
Source: Christine Joy Teodoro, Area Coordinator