According to Manila Times in The Philippines, the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) is targeting to procure a total of 5,098 units of farm machineries and distribute these to 1,600 FCAs with an estimated 284,800 farmer-members this year, as part of its mandate under the tarrified rice regime.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar in a statement expressed optimism that farmers will be able to reduce the cost of rice production to about P8 to P9 per kilo by the end of the six-year implementation of the Republic Act 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, thus making the Philippines at par with its counterparts in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
“The continued implementation of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) as provided under Rice Tariffication Law is paving the way to this favorable development onto making Filipino rice farmers globally competitive,” Dar said.
PhilMech studies show that mechanizing rice production operations, from land preparation to harvest, can reduce the production cost of palay (paddy rice) by P2 to P3 per kilo.
Currently, the cost of producing palay in the Philippines is at P12.72 per kilo, while it is P6.22 in Vietnam and P8.86 in Thailand, according to studies by Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice).
Of the total targeted farm machinery and equipment for this year, 2,574 units are for land preparation like four-wheel and one-hand tractors, and attachments like tillers, worth P1.7 billion; 496 units for crop establishment like transplanters and seeders, totalling P500 million; and 2,028 units of post-harvest equipment like mechanical harvesters, threshers and milling machines, worth P2.8 billion.