CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) recently awarded P59.18-million worth of agricultural machinery to 37 farmers’ cooperatives and associations from local government units in Bulacan province.
The PHilMech said the grants are under its Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization Program.
The equipment included 14 four-wheel drive tractors, 15 hand tractors, four walk-behind transplanters, nine riding-type transplanters, two precision rice seeders, five rice combine harvesters, and four single-pass rice mills.
The farmers groups that received the machinery are from the cities of Malolos, Baliwag and San Jose del Monte.
Other beneficiary towns include Calumpit, Paombong, Pulilan, Plaridel, San Ildefonso, San Miguel, San Rafael, Bocaue, Pandi, Angat and Santa Maria.
PHilMech said the machineries are expected to help in producing high-quality rice and expediting harvesting in 146 hectares of farmland at barangays Tabon and Dulong Malabon in Pulilan.
These will also help 150 farmers from collecting the rice stalks up to rice threshing.
Since 2019, PHilMech has awarded some P453.6 million worth of agricultural machinery in Bulacan.
Data from the Bulacan Provincial Agriculture Office showed that rice harvest in the province from 33,981 hectares of farmland yielded 174,338 metric tons during the dry season of 2022 up to 2023.
This is higher than the 160,266 metric tons planted in 32,925 hectares in the same season from 2021 to 2022.
Rice harvest during the wet season of 2023, on the other hand, was pegged at 173,160 metric tons in 39,083 hectares of farmlands.