One of the machines received by the Barangay Odiong Cassava Farmers Association in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental from the Department of Agriculture-Western Visayas under the agency’s cassava development program. (Contributed photo)
BACOLOD CITY -- A group of cassava farmers in Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental received PHP3 million worth of farm machines from the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The pieces of equipment, which include a four-wheel tractor, a cassava chipper, and three units of water pump, are expected to boost the farmers’ production capacity.
Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino, who led the turn-over rites in Barangay Odiong on Thursday, said a huge part of the 30-hectare contiguous farm being cultivated by the Barangay Odiong Cassava Farmers Association is devoted to food-grade variety of cassava.
“The machines would help the recipient-farmers, who are agrarian reform beneficiaries, especially in the land preparation,” he said.
Masculino added that the pieces of equipment can also help the organization generate income through custom plowing, or allowing non-member farmers or associations subject to rental fee.
The support services given to the Barangay Odiong Cassava Farmers Association is provided by the DA-Western Visayas under its cassava development program, through the assistance of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) and the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO).
The Barangay Odiong Cassava Farmers Association, comprised of 36 farmer-members, delivers up to 30 sacks of fresh cassava twice a week to an institutional buyer in Bacolod City.
Their area is considered a model farm as they were able to sustain the production on top, having the largest contiguous area devoted to cassava in the province.
Through the machines, OPA hopes the association can also fully utilize the entire area for cassava production, Masculino said,
He noted that although the project is a dole-out, the OPA will still monitor the implementation, specifically to determine whether the equipment have helped boost productivity and profitability of the association.
Masculino said they also recognized the need of the farmers for additional interventions, including livelihood projects like free-range chicken dispersal and value-adding trainings.
“Value-adding interventions include processing of cassava cake, flour and other cassava-based products as sources of additional income and livelihood,” he added.
The OPA chief said the farmers can be introduced to a credit facility through the Production Loan Easy Access program, mainly for additional capital. (PNA)