By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol yesterday advised farmers to use available technology and adapt in order to increase productivity.
Piñol, who was in Bacolod City yesterday, said some farmers are refusing to learn about new and improved farming methods, which would further increase harvests, along with their profits.
“We have to embrace modern technology,” Piñol said. “Most of the farmers are stubborn, they do not want to be teached.”
The agriculture secretary said his office currently provides a P400 million local program for farm mechanization, adding farmers only need to ask and they will lend them the money.
“You choose your own equipment, we will not choose it for you,” he said.
Meanwhile, Piñol also revealed the average yield for sugarcane farms in the country is low compared to other countries.
With a rapidly dwindling number of farm workers, Piñol said it is now urgent for farmers to mechanize.
“It is faster, more efficient, and you get to cover larger areas in a shorter period of time,” Piñol said.
He added, it is not the low price of sugar that sugar planters are complaining about but the low income, pointing out, if production was greater they could expect higher income regardless of the price of sugar.
“If the price of rice is P20 per kilogram, but your production is only three metric tons, then your income is only P60,000,” he said. “However, if your production is eight metric tons, you will have an income of P160,000, see the difference?”/DGB, WDJ