In a bid to accelerate the development of agriculture in Region 02 and to support the agri-industrialization and “New Thinking for Agriculture” and the 8 Paradigms of Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No. 02 (DA-RFO 02), headed by Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo through the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED) and Field Operations Divisions (FOD) conducted the reorientation and simultaneous signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for Multi-Purpose Drying Pavement (MPDP) and rice machinery projects for CY 2020.

The MOA signing was held on February 21, 2020 at DA RFO 02 Gymnasium, San Gabriel, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

For his part, Edillo expressed his gratitude to all the Local Government Units, farmers and other agri-stakeholders who attended the orientation. He discussed the 8-Paradigms of the present administration.

On mechanization aspect, he urged the small and fragmented farmer groups to strengthen themselves by organizing cooperatives.

Edillo also stressed that the DA RFO 2 management staff is willing to help those cooperative members who do not have the capabilities to prepare project proposals so that they can avail other projects offered by DA and as required by other DA attached agencies in availing credit assistance.

He then stressed the need for the convergence of technical efforts of DA RFO 02, DA attached agencies, Local Chief Executives and other agri-stakeholders for the benefit of farmers.

On Industrialization and Promotion of Export, Edillo stressed that the Philippines is 60% sufficient when it comes to munggo production and 40% of the supply is imported from other countries. He urged the group to emulate the practice of San Mateo, Isabela farmers to plant munggo on economy of scale after rice to meet the demand for munggo products.

Edillo also emphasized the efforts of DA Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) in organizing the Calamansi Farmers of Aurora, Isabela and linking them to the Mama Sitas Institutional Market that led to the assured market for Aurora Calamansi Farmers’s group product and/ or marketing agreements, between the two parties. He also stressed that the DA will do its best to provide the quality of calamansi produce such as the size of peso coin as required by the Mama Sitas.

On infrastructure, Edillo urged the group of farmers to discuss their requests with their respective Municipal Mayors who, in turn, will coordinate with the regional office for the possible availment of projects under DA-Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP). Meanwhile, showed admiration to some of the Local Chief Executives in the region for the provision of 10% of their budget to be allocated as counterpart for agricultural programs, projects and services.

On mechanization aspect, Edillo stressed that the beneficiaries of combine harvester, grain collector, knapsack sprayer and multi-purpose drying are those who met the requirements, criteria and guidelines set by the department.

“Ang pangunahing layunin ng pamimigay ng agricultural machinery and MPDP ay para maipataas and ani at kita ng mga magsasaka. Isa itong pamamaraan na itinataguyod o pinopromote ng DA para bumaba ang gastusin sa pagsasaka sa pamamagitan ng pagtaas ng bilang ng mga makinarya”, stressed Edillo.

“Napakaimportante na maitaas ang mechanization level sa ating rehiyon dahil sa kasalukuyan ay napakababa pa nito at nasa 30% pa lamang kung ikumpara sa ibang bansa. Sana sa pamamagitan ng mga makinaryang ito at iba pang pasilidad o kaya MPDP ay maipataas sana natin ang antas ng mekanisasyon dito sa ating rehiyon”, Edillo added.

“This activity is a manifestation that DA RFO 02 is very serious in providing programs and projects to the farmers anchored on the New Thinking in Agriculture to accelerate the development of Agriculture in the region”, Edillo averred.

For his part, Regional Technical Director for Operations, Roberto C. Busania encouraged all the coop members to fast track the completion of all the projects this summer as this is the best time to construct all the MPDPs.

As a summary, beneficiaries of 30 units MPDP at Php250,000 each, 57 knapsack sprayers at Php45,000, two (2) units grain collector at Php150,000 and one (1) unit combine harvester signed contracts to jumpstart implementation.

The event was attended by Municipal Agriculturists, Agricultural Extension Workers, cooperative and association members, farmers and other agri-stakeholders.