THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

PH proposes ¥900M loan for farm modernization

Author: DA-AFID | 4 January 2017

The Department of Agriculture is proposing a 900-million Japanese yen loan with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the full mechanization of farming in a first batch of 10,000 hectares of selected rice farms under a program to modernize Philippine agriculture and help realize the Duterte Administration’s goals of producing and making available affordable food to Filipinos.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that under the Philippine Agricultural Modernization Program, the DA proposes to provide farmers in 10 model sites nationwide with farm equipment that include grains dryer and post-harvest facilities, technical support and institutional development.

Each of the model sites would have clusters of rice farms totalling 1,000-hectares per area, Piñol said. In each of these clusters, the DA will coordinate with established cooperatives to handle the management of the farm equipment and the lease of the equipment to local farmers, he added.

The DA Secretary said the DA hopes to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with JICA for the farm mechanization program loan during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Manila during the third week of January this year.

Piñol said the DA hopes the farm mechanization program could succeed in raising productivity of local farmers and in reducing post-harvest losses, which currently reaches an average of 16% of rice harvest nationwide.

Raising productivity, according to the DA Secretary, include lowering the average production cost of rice farmers, which is currently estimated at an average of P12.41 per kilo of rice produced nationwide.

At the moment, JICA is assisting in the construction and rehabilitation of rural infrastructure facilities such as irrigation systems, farm-to-market roads, post-harvest facilities and potable water supply systems all over the Philippines. ###

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