Hundreds of farmers, fishers and their organizations received farm machineries and equipment amounting to P127.4 million from Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala and Senate Committee Chair on Agriculture and Food Senator Cynthia Villar during the mass turnover of various facilities held at Manambulan Research Outreach Station in Barangay Tubok, Davao City on March 4, 2015.

Various sets of equipment were distributed as part of the government’s efforts to mechanize the farm sector in order to level up the country’s competitiveness and gear for the integration under the ASEAN Economic Community.

“We are providing you these facilities to help you in your production so you can continue to be constant partners of the government in agricultural development,” Alcala said.

The agri chief stressed that President Benigno S. Aquino III ordered him to personally bring assistance to the farmers and fishers and educate them on the administration’s projects intended to bring production and economic growth for the farming and fishing communities.

“I encourage you to enroll your projects under the Philippine Rural Development Project,” he said stressing that the World Bank funded program seeks to deliver world-class interventions to the rural communities nationwide.

“The government is serious in modernizing the farm sector so we can compete with our ASEAN neighbors as we face the AEC integration,” he added

The packages of assistance, which totals P127 million, were awarded to individuals and farm organizations from Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley. These include mechanized threshers, floating tillers, tractors, combine harvesters, and corn shellers among others.

The farm machineries and facilities that were distributed are part of various DA programs, which seek to equip farmers and fishers in their rice, corn and high value crops production and post-production activities.

Certificates for the construction of various infrastructures for the improvement of the livestock sector and organic agriculture initiatives were likewise awarded to the local chief executives within the Region.

Under the Payapa at Masaganag Pamayanan (PAMANA) project of the government, Alcala and Villar awarded to Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario a check amounting to P7.27-M for the concreting of the Linayapan-Malapanit-DAngulog farm to market road located in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, which is now on its second phase. # # # (Adora Rodriguez/DA-AFID)