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Capitol turns over P4.3 million worth of farm machines and equipment

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

The Cebu Provincial Government turned yesterday P4.3 million worth of farm machineries and equipment last June 2 at the Capitol Social Hall.

Governor Hilario P. Davide III spearheaded the activities. Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP) Leader Dr. Romulo Davide and Provincial Agriculturist Dr. RoldanSaragena flanked him.

“The Provincial Government honored its commitment” and “will always support programs for our farmers through the Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP),” said Governor Davide during the program.

Aside from the farm tools, more than 240 FSTP barangay coordinators also received their monthly allowances.

The FSTP coordinators were not able to claim their allowances since October of last year until March of this year because of documentary hurdles.

Gov. Davide said it was because some of them submitted photocopied documents instead of the original copies of their accomplishment reports.

“The FSTP coordinators are the ones who supervised and monitored the farmers who took part in the FSTP. This is our way of supporting them also,” he added.

Dr. Romulo Davide, Capitol agriculture consultant said the farmers in Cebu were in a better position than in other parts of the country.

During the activity, the FSTP coordinators brought their farm products like vegetables, corn and root crops, which retained their quality despite the long drought. The FSTP coordinators were graduates of FSTP phase 3,

“Instead of the governor giving them rice subsidy, what we witness here is that the farmers were the ones who brought their products to the governor,” Dr. Davide said in jest.

Dr. Romulo Davide said that is only showed that the farmer-scientists in Cebu showed resiliency to the long drought brought by El Niño.

At least 10 farmers associations (FA) in different local government units (LGUs) received a package of corn mill, outdoor corn storage, weighing scales, and moisture meter. Others only received a corn mill.

There were also LGUs or FAs, who only got corn storage or moisture meter as they already received corn mill.

Engr. Nancy Quinanpondan, chief, Agri-engineering division, said those who received the package of corn mill and other equipment were qualified FAs to establish a community-based drying and processing center of corn.

The package also includes the construction of multi-purpose drying pavement, corn sheller, and drying shed.She explained the recipients of the package are encouraged to become service providers in their community. It means that after harvest they can process the corn from its original state until it becomes a finished product for human or livestock consumption.

The recipients of drying facilities must have at least 500 square meters of land area. Most of the recipients of the community based drying and processing center project were upland barangays. Quinapondan said the objective is to minimize post harvest losses and cost of converting the raw corn into a finished product.

Vidal Borboran, FSTP coordinator, Poblacion, Santander, said a farmer from the mountain barangay would have to shell out at least P200 for his 50 kilos of corn if these will be milled in the town proper. It is in the town centers where milling facilities are usually located.

According to the supplier, the machines are also efficient. It can mill 120-150 kilos of corn in one hour with one (1) liter of gasoline. It can also contain waste products that can also be used as food for livestock.