The Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) announced that it is in the process of bidding and acquiring farm machines worth PHP 3 billion (USD 61.9 million) under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) which collects tariffs on rice import. The types of farm machines include four-wheel tractors, combine harvesters, reapers, seeders, hand tractors, transplanters, floating tillers, rice mills, and threshers.
Under the newly passed Rice Tariffication Law, PHilMech will be given PHP 5 billion (USD 103.1 million) annually from 2019 to 2024 to fund the granting of farm machines to qualified farmers cooperatives and associations (FCAs) nationwide. As of September 2, 2020, PHilMech has so far distributed 1,029 farm machines to qualified FCAs. These are 171 four-wheel farm tractors; 128 hand tractors; 235 floating tillers; 52 precision seeders; 35 walk-behind transplanters; 118 riding type transplanters; 35 reapers; 241 combine harvesters; and 14 mobile rice mills.
PhilMech is the leading institution for farm mechanization in the Philippines, as mandated by Republic Act 10601 or “Agriculture and Fisheries Mechanization Act.” The agency develops protocols and processes, wherein technologies and available equipment are tapped for easier adoption by farmers, cooperatives, and agribusiness enterprises.
(Sources: The Philippine Star; The Manila Times)