Ilocos Norte rice farmers get ready for full mechanization

PIDDIG, Ilocos Norte, Nov. 17 (PNA) — To keep pace with the change of time, local farmers here have expressed support for the full mechanization and consolidated farming system to make them globally competitive.

Spearheaded by the local government unit of Piddig in partnership with the Zoomlion International, a major developer and exporter of high-end agriculture equipment, farmers here are now ready to accept the challenge of agriculture modernization.

As part of the program, the Zanjera San Cristobal Irrigation Service Area of Piddig were the first to try and utilize a mechanical rice harvester being demonstrated by Zoomlion here this rice harvest season.

Based on a series of trials and demonstration, the mechanical harvester has been proven to reduce post harvest losses by at least two percent compared to the manual method with about 20-30 percent incurred losses.

However, farmers need to consolidate their small parcel of farm lands or the so-called block farming to fully implement mechanization.

As a prime mover of this town’s agriculture development, Piddig town mayor Eduardo Guillen said his administration continue to empower farmers here by giving them all the support they need such as skills trainings, assistance to financing and marketing of their products.

Also, Piddig town is among the first local government units in Ilocos Norte that implemented land computerization program or the so-called application of Geospatial Information System and capacity building among stakeholders in view of farming consolidation.

Backed by the Department of Agriculture, Piddig town has been one of the latest recipients of a multi-million rice processing complex, farm machineries and post harvest facilities to improve farmers’ productivity here.

Like Piddig, Provincial Agriculturist Norma Lagmay expressed optimism that all other farmers in the entire province of Ilocos Norte will follow suit by embracing the full mechanization program.(PNA)