PhilRice lays options for farmers affected by TRAIN law
The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), has technologies in place to help lessen the impact of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law to the rice farmers.
TRAIN became notorious to the farmers with its provision on higher specific tax on petroleum products, which was last increased in 1997.
PhilRice data show that a typical farmer uses 397 liters per hectare of fuel from land preparation until harvesting while the more mechanized farmer consumes 413 liters per hectare. The difference, 16 to 26 liters per hectare, adds P600-1,000 per hectare more cost.
PhilRice executive director Sailila E. Abdula said yield-enhancing technologies (such as machines, water management, and varieties) are easily available for the rice growers to offset the P0.50 increase in the production cost of pump-dependent farmers.
“By using combine harvester, farmer gets an additional net income of P6,000, which came from the savings he obtained from reduced labor cost in harvesting, threshing, and using sacks and twine,” Adbula said.
He also said farmers can earn P3,527 more from the 4-in-1 machine, as it reduces postharvest losses from manual harvesting, axial-flow threshing, and piling.
To further save on fuel, PhilRice promotes rice hull, a common farm waste in rural communities, in powering up water pump.
Rice hull gasifier pump system, a water pump gasifier that burns rice hull as fuel, is available for farmers, giving them a savings of 30 percent to 40 percent on irrigation cost per season.
Alternate wetting and drying technology, or irrigating the field few days after water level has dropped to about 15 cm below the surface of the soil, is also an easy farm practice that gives a 16 percent to 35 percent savings without decreasing yield.