In a sincere effort to enhance rice harvesting procedures, a new farm technology was introduced to the fifth district mayors, Municipal Agriculturists, and farmers by the fifth district representative, Kimi Cojuangco, through her envoy, the former congressman, Mark Cojuangco. Mayor Manuel T. Collado of Alcala hosted the one-day harvest demo in two separate locations with different conditions. One is a dry rice field and the other is boggy.
The contraption is a harvester and thresher at the same time that is designed to accelerate the harvest of rice from a day’s work to no more than a couple of hours, with far less expense and minimized grain loss. According to study, the conventional harvesting procedure, from reaping to the threshing machine, a total harvest loss due to accidental grain fall is estimated at fifteen to eighteen percent while the new contraption has been ascertained at only 1.5 percent. It consumes nine liters of diesel fuel for every dry hectare and twelve for sloughed rice fields. It works faster on dry areas with only an hour per hectare and two hours to a wet field.
The machine is also designed to be effectual in flooded areas and on pressed down rice straws. But what is more interesting is its ability to maneuver on tight areas and its capability to work nocturnally. It is an incredibly dependable machine in times of hurried harvest, particularly at times when a typhoon is expected to arrive that threatens ready to harvest rice grains. The machine is also effective on corn, sorghum and sunflower by merely attaching to the machine specific alternate devices designed for each.
While everyone wowed the new harvest contraption, a defeat was seen on the faces of the many farmhands who also came to witness the demonstration. The apprehension was perceived by the former congressman so at the start of the informal meeting with the mayors with open forum that was held immediately after the demo, and where everyone present can participate, Mr. Cojuangco told the mayors to come up with a plan so that the net gain go back to the farmhands who were displaced by the new technology. “Quantify your gains and know how to distribute it back to the farmers!” he said. Mayor Silverio Alarcio, Jr. suggested that the affected sector should be organized to identify them and the other mayors also said that the revenue collected from the enhanced farm procedure will be utilized to compensate the displaced farmers through “work for a fee program”. Most of those that also spoke in the open forum aside from the mayors were chairmen of farmers’ organizations and recognized cooperatives from different municipalities. All spoke of their tremendous appreciation to the new farm contraction and the immense relief it could bring them. They also recommended some helpful hints to help those affected farmers, however, all consented to the proposed “work for a fee” program as long as the summons is evenly distributed.
Mayor Libradita Abrenica and husband Nonato attentively observed the entire demo activity and were convinced of its effectiveness. Mr. Inocencio Carganilla represented Mayor Mina Joy Pangasinan of Sison while the latter is attending a two-day seminar in Baguio City.
An initial procurement deal could have been attained but the Php3.4 million pesos worth for a single harvester was too much to ingest. “Make this district your promo area. Once the mayors here start to procure, surely, other mayors from other districts follow. Lower your price!” Mr. Cojuangco said.