KIDAPAWAN CITY – The city government, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture–Region 12, has turned over a PHP6-million rice processing center to small-scale farmers here following a test run.
The project was a joint initiative with the DA-12, which allocated PHP4.6 million for the equipment and structure; while the city government earmarked PHP1.4 million for the electrical system of the facility.
Mayor Joseph Evangelista led the ceremonial switch-on of the machinery together with local officials and representatives from the city agriculture office on Saturday afternoon in Barangay San Isidro.
“I am optimistic that this could really lessen the burden of farmers in maximizing their time output in a short period of time,” Evangelista said, adding the facility will cater to all rice farmers through their respective associations from nearby villages.
Dionisio Wanal Sr., village chair of San Isidro and himself a farmer, expressed his gratitude to both DA-12 and the city government for pursuing the initiative despite the pandemic.
“This is proof that the government is continuously serving the people amid the crisis brought by the coronavirus disease 2019,” he said in the vernacular.
Rice processing includes the cleaning of harvested palay (unhusked rice grains) from foreign objects like small stones and tree stumps, hulling, milling, polishing, grading, sorting, and packing into rice bags for delivery to markets.
The village farmers’ association will run the operation of the facility under the supervision of the city agriculture office.
It is expected to serve over 400 small-scale farmers in the villages of San Isidro, Gayola, San Roque, Katipunan, Sto Niño, Binoligan, Sikitan, and Paco. (PNA)