The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) eyes to complete the distribution of farm machinery worth PHP5 billion by the end of 2021.
Since PHilMech started distributing farm machines under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund – Mechanization Program in June 2020, a total 14,368 units have reached farmer cooperatives and organizations nationwide, according to Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday.
The bulk of farm machines distributed were for land preparation — 7,998 units composed of 2,709 four-wheel tractors, 3,744 hand tractors, and 1,545 units of floating tillers.
Western Visayas (Region 6) and Bicol (Region 5) received the most number of units.
Qualified farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) in Western Visayas got 2,180 units while those in the Bicol Region received 1,995 units.
FCAs in Regions 3 (Central Luzon) and 1 (Ilocos) got 1,586 units and 1,320 units, respectively.
PhilMech will also advance the bidding for some of the machine units covered by 2022 funds.
The National Postharvest Institute for Research and Extension (NAPHIRE) was established on May 24, 1978 to accelerate the development of the grains postharvest industry.
Its actual operations started in 1980 as a subsidiary corporation of the National Grains Authority it became a DA attached agency in 1986.
In 1992, NAPHIRE was transformed into a regular agency and was renamed anew as the Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension until Executive Order 366 or the government’s 2004 Rationalization Program changed it to to PHilMech. (PNA)