PH receives P300M worth of sugarcane farm equipment from Japan
MANILA -Filipino sugarcane farmers are set to receive P300 million worth of farm equipment, including tractors and planters, from Japan to help boost output especially of small farmers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said.
According to the DA, it officially received 80 units of tractors, 48 sugarcane planters, 48 flail mowers and 5 power harrows from the government of Japan on Saturday under the East Asian country’s Non-Project Aid Program and the local Farm Mechanization Program for Small Sugarcane Landholders.
“Mechanization reduces hard labor, relieves labor shortages and improves the productivity and timeliness of agricultural operations,” Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel said.
Under the DA and Sugar Regulatory Administration’s two-year farm mechanization program, the equipment will be distributed to farmers based in 10 regions across the country.
The P374.75-million program was funded through the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement and launched in 2021 to help provide sugarcane farmers with the necessary equipment for labor.
Laurel pointed out that modernizing Philippine agriculture was key to making commodities more affordable for consumers, as ordered by President Marcos.
“Our partnership with the Japanese government helps us address this concern through modernization and mechanization. Our two nations are bound by common interests. Our trading partnership, which brings greater prosperity and opportunity to citizens of both our countries, has grown dramatically in recent years,” he said.
Various industry stakeholders have been pushing the newly installed agriculture chief to bring down the cost of farm inputs, improve facilities and infrastructure, and ensure that small-time farmers and fishermen are able to thrive and compete.