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Rice Farmers Group gets 1.8M Rice Harvester in Nueva Ecija

By: Victor Baldemor Ruiz

FORT MAGSAYSAY, Nueva Ecija — The Olivete Farmers Association, organized by the 91st Infantry (Sinagtala) Battalion, Philippine Army, received a rice-harvesting machine worth Php1.8 million from the Department of Agriculture (DA) in a simple ceremony held at covered court, PhilMec, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. Led the turnover/awarding of Agricultural Machinery and Equipment to Marcos Flores, President of Olivete Farmers Association, together with 1st Lieutenant Jevie J. Sagragao, Executive Officer of Alpha Company, 91IB.

Said activity was in line with the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Mechanization program of the DA.

Lieutenant Colonel Julito B. Recto Jr., Commanding Officer of 91IB, said that with the agricultural machinery the association received, the rice farmers in Barangay Olivete in Bongabon will no longer worry about harvest losses due to the delays in harvesting their crop because of mechanization.

“This will also reduce their harvesting costs and will increase their income. This would also address the labor shortage during harvest season, generate more income, and generate more savings from harvesting costs for the members,” Lt. Col. Recto Jr. said.

Agriculture Secretary Laurel said that Nueva Ecija is considered the leading rice-growing province of the country; thus, it is often referred to as the ‘Rice Granary of the Philippines.’

“I am happy to be with the Nueva Ecija farmers who always give us food, the country’s top producer of palay in our country. With that our government are doing its best to help our farmers to attain high yields. Hindi po matatawaran ang inyong pagsusumikap kung kaya hindi rin kayo nahuhuli pagdating sa pagpapala ng ating gobyerno,” Laurel said.

Meanwhile, Flores expressed his gratitude to the Army, DA, Local Government Units of Nueva Ecija, PHILMECH, and among others for the blessing they received.

“Our gratitude to 91IB for always taking care of us towards the realization of this farm equipment,” Flores said.

Also present during the turnover are other farmer’s associations and cooperatives that also receive the RCEF Mechanization Program.

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