Piñol ponders on how to improve mechanization in agri sector
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has pondered on how to improve mechanization in the agriculture sector while on leave. This, as the past administrations failed to do so.
“In the peace and quiet of my farm where I have been resting for three days now, I have the luxury of time to ponder on why so many government agriculture projects, which may have been well-intentioned but failed miserably wasting billions of precious public funds,” Piñol said.
“Rice processing complexes gathering cobwebs, decaying farm level grains centres, abandoned trading posts, useless grains driers and farm equipment which have been abandoned dot the farmlands and countryside, testaments to an effort which was either riddled with corruption or poor management,” he added.
These thoughts, according to him, came to his mind as the Department of Agriculture (DA) prepares to undertake one of the most ambitious mechanization program for Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries.
For the fisheries sector, small ice plants and strategically located cold storage facilities will be established in areas where the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has already distributed fiberglass fishing boats.
For the agriculture sector, especially crops, farmers and farm workers have been receiving machineries and equipment which are intended to improve their productivity and reduce post harvest losses.
“This program is quite complicated because it effectively deprives smaller farmers from accessing the equipment and bedevilled by political meddling. Besides, the government’s “lowest bidder” procurement process often results in the acquisition of equipment and machineries of very poor quality,” Piñol said.