THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is pushing for the establishment of more farm service providers (FSPs) to provide landless rural workers an alternative source of income as agriculture in the country increasingly becomes mechanized.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that FSPs, who are trained in the use of farm machinery, could earn higher income by entering into service arrangements with landowners.
Alcala said that the DA has helped several FSPs in Central Luzon and Region 12 like the Samahang Kaunlaran sa Balubaran Lingap at Katagumpayan ng Laur, Nueva Ecija and farmers of Brgy. Dikildit, Maria Aurora, Aurora.
The DA chief said these groups were given assorted machines like reaper, thresher, transplanter and hand tractors. “Farmers’ groups can also avail of grants by way of the fund counterparting scheme,” Alcala added.
The DA earlier said it has allocated P4.12 billion for its farm mechanization drive in the proposed 2015 budget.
Meanwhile, Rex Bingabing, executive director of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), said they are looking at the potential of the local farm machine industry to help address the labor displacement caused by farm mechanization.