SIXTY-EIGHT qualified farmers' cooperatives and associations (FCAs) received P209 million worth of various farm machines under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund Mechanization (RCEF) Program.

A turnover ceremony on Wednesday was held at the New Capitol, Tagbilaran in Bohol. At least 9,000 Boholano farmers are expected to benefit from the machinery grants aimed at increasing the island province's agricultural production.

Speaking to Boholano farmers, PHilMech Director Dr. Baldwin Jallorina stressed the benefit of the Rice Tariffication Law through the provision of machinery grants to FCAs.

"This RCEF Mechanization Program and its farm machines are free and made possible through the passing of the RA 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law authored by our dear Sen. Cynthia Villar. Let us thank our dear senator for all her efforts for the Filipino farmers," Jallorina said.

Jallorina expressed optimism that the farm machineries will help curb postharvest losses, lessen the production cost and increase the profit of the farmers. He challenged the farmers to take care of the machines and share to all farmers so they can also encourage the next generation to farming.

"I'm hoping that you'll take care and share these to your fellow farmers so that we will succeed altogether and encourage our children and the next generation to embrace agriculture," he said in Filipino.

For his part, Agriculture Secretary William Dar assured the farmers that all the planned government support will reach the farmers to unlock the potentials of the agriculture sector in the province.

"There will be more (machineries) after this year and I assure you that all support meant for Boholano farmers for this year will be provided to you," Dar said in Filipino.