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Written and Photos, Taken by Cristy Tolentino

Over 90 people composed of presidents of Samahan ng Industriya ng PAGgugulayan (SIPAG) in CALABARZON, Provincial High Value Crops Coordinators, and representatives of Agricultural Program Coordinating Officers (APCOs) attended the two-day “Orientation cum Workshop on Agricultural Production Equipment, Machinery, and Structures for High Value Crops” held on March 6 – 7, 2018 at Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), Tagaytay City, Cavite.

The activity aims to teach the participants on how to operate and maintain agricultural production inputs being awarded by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV CALABARZON through High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) to qualified farmer-recipients.

Engr. Redelliza A. Gruezo, Regional HVCDP Coordinator, presented the general guidelines on availing interventions from the government. “Hindi po lahat ay nabibigyan ng pagkakataon na magkaroon ng mga makinarya dahil may mga sinusunod po tayong alituntunin tulad ng eligibility. Dapat po ay m’yembro kayo ng isang organisado at rehistradong grupo. Dapat din po na ang mga hinihiling n’yong makinarya o kagamitan ay katumbas lang ng sukat ng lupa o lugar na mayro’n kayo. Bukod dito, dapat po na may nakahanda na kayong silong o may kagustuhang maglagay ng silong para sa mga kagamitan, may kakayahang magpatakbo at mangalaga ng mga kagamitan, at higit sa lahat ay may pagkukusang matuto sa pamamagitan ng pagdalo sa mga pagsasanay tulad nito (kasalukuyang aktibidad),” she explained.

Among the speakers invited for the activity were Josie Cruz and Carlito Ilao of Ford Tractor Philippines, Inc., Jonathan Ong of PI Farm Products, Inc., Jose Mari Prudente of Juntereal Industrial and Development Corp. for screen houses, and Engr. Ronald Magtalas of Iritec International, Co., Ltd. for greenhouse and rain shelter.

Also, vegetable growers’ associations of each province presented updates on farm mechanization plans and programs of their vegetable production.

Statistics shows that the DA CALABARZON distributed 12 tractors and 98 multi-tillers from 2011 to 2017, 29 nurseries, ten greenhouses from 2012 to 2015, and 29 screen houses from 2011 to 2016.