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Written by Radel Llagas
Photos, Taken by Bryan Arcilla, Nataniel Bermudez, and Amylyn Rey-Castro

Some 200 farmers from CALABARZON Region attended the roadshow of farm technologies and equipment on April 24 – 25, 2018 at Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (STIARC), Lipa City, Batangas.

The two-day activity is organized by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV CALABARZON in cooperation with Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) and FIT Corea Trading Philippines, Inc. – Korea Agricultural Machinery Industry Cooperative (KAMICO). It aims to introduce and showcase farm technologies and equipment by means of exhibits, demonstrations, and lectures for the attendees.

Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa recognized that the labor component in farming here in CALABARZON is one of the highest rates and with the use of farm technologies and equipment the labor expenses can be lessen and as a result gives more income for the farmers. “Sa dating ginagawa natin, kailangan mo ng sampung trabahante, ngayon kahit ikaw na lang ang gagamit ng makinarya, kayang-kaya na (Then, you need ten workers to finish the job, but now, you yourself (the farmer) can finish the job using a farm equipment),” Regional Director de Mesa said.

Regional Director de Mesa also promoted the available credit facilities provided by the DA thru attached agency Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC) such as the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) and Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) wherein an individual farmer can loan up to one million pesos, and farmers’ group for up to five million pesos, with no collateral and with the lowest interest of 6% per annum. The amount loaned can be used to purchase farm equipment or facilities of any brand to improve farm production and income.

Right after the opening program and the declaration of commencement of activity by KAMICO Director Kim Kyun Soo, the attendees proceeded to their respective seminar rooms to hear lectures on mechanization on rice and high value crops. On the second day, the attendees went to the field (one in STIARC and the other in Brgy. Quilo Quilo, Padre Garcia) to witness actual demonstrations of several equipment such as levee maker, rotavator, rotating plow, wall sprayer, riding cultivator, and hand cultivator.

“Kami ay nagpapasalamat sa pag-imbeta sa amin ng DA sa roadshow. Marami kaming natutunan sa mga lecture at lumawak pa ang aming kaalaman sa mga bagong makinang pangsaka. (We are thankful that we are invited here in the roadshow. We learned a lot on the lectures and new farm equipment),” Rolando Katahimikan said, a farmer from the province of Rizal.