Agri-10 provides a farm tractor unit to PFA of Libona town to amplify their corn and cassava production. 


LIBONA, BUKIDNON – To ensure faster and easier land preparation activities of the 140-active-membered group, the Department of Agriculture – Northern Mindanao (DA-10) through the Corn program turned over the P2.9-million (M) farm tractor to the Palabucan Farmers Association (PFA) on Thursday, April 11, in barangay Palabucan, here.

With a 90-horsepower engine, the machinery also comes with a package of implements such as a disc plow, harrow, and trailer, which is overall seen to boost the 200-hectare corn and 50-hectare cassava production of the association, with a potential area for expansion of 50 hectares.

Field Operations Division chief Luz I. Guzman, PhD, Richan D. Lacanaria, Corn program focal person, and Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (NMACLRC) chief, Carmelito R. Lapoot of DA-10, led in handing over the certificate of turnover through the Local Government of Libona headed by Mayor Aurelio B. Lopez, and finally, to the recipient, the PFA through its President Melagros J. Mansibogan.

“By mechanizing farm operations using the farm tractor, the department is optimistic for the farmer-members to reduce their production cost [for corn and cassava] so they can generate savings and use it for their other farm needs, with emphasis on producing more in lesser time, but with greater efficiency,” DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado said.

On behalf of Libona mayor Lopez, Sangguniang Bayan councilor Noel B. Woo noted the synergistic efforts of the national, municipal and barangay governments, for the acquisition of the said big-ticket project for the remotely located, barangay Palabucan.

The town official also reminded the association to set aside funds for the upkeep of the said machinery to sustain its operability in the years to come.

For the agency’s part, Guzman lauded the PFA for being one of the unit beneficiaries, given the overwhelming requests for the availment of a farm tractor from the department.

Agreeing with the councilor’s statement, she further encouraged the association to set policies on the use of the farm tractor, giving paramount importance to serving its farmer-members, in the locality and other adjoining barangays.

On the other hand, Mansibogan expressed her gratefulness for the DA’s continued support to them, saying it is their first farm tractor from the department, and further recounting previous interventions such as their cassava chipper, mechanical corn sheller and composting facilities.

“Maraming salamat sa binigay ninyong oportunidad [for our association to prosper]. Pagsisikapin talaga namin na mayroon kaming mailalaang pondo para sa pagkukumpuni at pagpapanatili sa naibigay na farm tractor nang sa gayon magsilbi kaming halimbawa sa kapwa naming mga asosasyon,” the president conveyed.

Attuned to the agency’s hopes of maintaining the said machinery, reportedly, the association eyes to using and engaging it into a business enterprise through servicing it to members and non-members alike at a minimal fee.

Pipelined charging for the availment of the farm tractor is P3K per hectare (ha) for members, while P3.2K for non-members, of which a portion is for the defrayment of the repair and maintenance of the unit.

On optimizing the available resources for the benefit of the association, Lapoot likewise underscored for them to exercise good financial management and record keeping, citing that it will be instrumental in having a well-managed association that would encourage for more government assistance to come in.

Pooled from the agency’s 2023 funds under the Agricultural Machinery, Equipment Facilities, and Infrastructure Program, the delivery of the farm tractor is in the form of a grant from the agri department with the provision of a shed as counterpart of the PFA.

Also witnessing the turnover ceremony were the agricultural technologists and staff of the Municipal Agriculture Office of Libona headed by Pepe M. Capangpangan, a representative from the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources office of LGU Libona, barangay officials, other PFA officers and members, and other personnel from the DA-10 Corn program.# (JLO)