Farming in Otucan eases with modern equipment
“The hours spent in the farm are shortened, allowing us more time to be with our families.”
This was how Patricia Wangdali, member of Otucan Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative (OFMPC) in Bauko, Mountain Province, described the convenience they are enjoying with the advent of their microenterprise subproject on farm mechanization.
As most farmers in the municipality of Bauko still engages in traditional farming through manual labor, the OFMPC decided to undertake an enterprise that will answer the immediate needs of their farmer-members.
“Bumiit ti panag-arado. Jay trabahoen ti nuwang ti 5 days ket kaya ti tractor ti manu laeng nga oras, (land preparation is now faster, a five-day tilling using a carabao is shortened with the use of a tractor),” said Wangdali, adding that her husband now spends more time with his family as compared before.
Wangdali’s husband is among the seven coop members who signed a lease agreement with the OFMPC to rent out the equipment they received.
Funded under the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA PRDP), the OFMPC received seven units of tractor (5 with carrier, 2 without carrier), two units of thresher and blower, and two units of shredder with a total cost amounting to one million pesos. These equipment are being rented to the members of the OFMPC.
Carabao has been a farmer’s long term partner in the field that helps them with land preparation among others. However, caring the carabao is another story.
“Nu i-compare mo maintenance ti nuwang ken machine, as-asikasuem jay nuwang manipod agsapa inggana rumabii, ken nu ada typhoon ket mapan mu pay birbiruken. Ngem nu diyay tractor, nu inlisim ken inlinong mo, nalpasen ti trabahom,” (if you compare the maintenance of a carabao with a machine, you have to take care of it from dawn to dusk and search for it even when there’s a typhoon. But with the tractor, you have nothing to worry about once you secure its storage),” added Wangdali.
Agusto Papsa-ao and Francis Bagne, members of the OFMPC also shared the same sentiments as Wangdali.
“Nu ag harvest ka, mabalin nga ag-raep kan, ag bunubun ka nga dagus. Nanamnam-ay jay tractor ta mabibiit ken nalaw-lawa ti sakop na (after harvest, you can easily prepare the land and transplant. The use of tractor makes farming faster and more convenient),” they said.
As of May 2019, OFMPC has a total net income of P130, 000.00 from the equipment rentals since it was delivered in August 2018.
According to Andrea Docadoc, Manager of OFMPC, they plan to purchase more farming equipment to benefit more of their members.
OFMPC is among the 19 farmer groups with completed micro-enterprise subprojects approved by the PRDP for calamity-stricken areas in the Cordillera. ### (ELVY S. TAQUIO, RPCO-CAR InfoACE)