PILI, Camarines Sur — More than 150 agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) corn farmers who are members of the Pag-iribang Nagkakaisang Magsasaka (PNM) organization in Maria Gracia Village, Hacienda Salamat, Cadlan will benefit from a flatbed dryer worth P1 million provided by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
“There is a continued high demand for corn used for both human and animal feeding. Post-harvest technology, such as the flatbed dryer, will boost the yield and sales of high-quality corn, and it will make farming easier and faster too,” said Renato C. Bequillo, DAR Camarines Sur Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer.
The equipment was distributed as part of DAR’s Major Crop-based Block Farm Productivity Improvement Project of Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support (CRFPS).
The project is one of the nine primary goals of Secretary Conrado Estrella III that focuses on the provision of farm machinery and equipment to ARBs.
“More than 150 ARBs will benefit from the equipment. The farmers can now dry corn even during the rainy season. The farmers from nearby barangays may also use the flatbed dryers for their harvested corn,” Beguillo said.
According to Beguillo, the town of Pili produces a substantial percentage of the corn used in food and cattle feeds, and approximately 450 hectares of agricultural area are mainly devoted to corn production.
“However, like in many areas, local corn producers here continue to suffer big losses in income due to the high cost of agricultural inputs required for its cultivation, as well as lack of farm mechanization,” Beguillo explained.
To help the ARBs recover from the losses, the DAR provided the said farm equipment to the corn farmers.
Arturo Bismonte, president of the PNM, thanked the department for the new flatbed dryer and promised that the property would be handled properly. He also urged the members to actively participate in and support all the organization’s operations and future initiatives to continue benefitting from the assistance provided to the organization.
“With over 100 hectares of arable land, we are home to the largest ARBs and land granted by the DAR in the area. I urge every PNM member not to misuse the assistance and opportunities provided by the DAR and other line agencies. Let’s manage it well as a sign of gratitude for them to see that we are maximizing the use of their projects,” Bismonte said.