Senator Villar Encourages Mechanized Farming SystemThursday, January 18, 2018
Young farmers should be encouraged to embrace the mechanized farming system and make them realize it promises better income, especially coconut farming. This was the message of Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Food and Agriculture, as she spoke last month at the graduation ceremony of the Kasaganaan sa Niyugan ay Kaunlaran nang Bayan (KAANIB) Farm Business School at St. Jude Cooperative Hotel in Barangay Isabang, in Tayabas City, Quezon province.
Villar cited updated records about the 920 farming schools in the country that are more than halfway of the targeted 1,500 farming schools to be put up in almost every town. She added that in this school, farmers will undergo training and processing technology skill to explore various uses and produces out of the coconut tree and its by-products, including virgin coconut oil, coco sugar and coconet. “Every year, the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) purchases more than P3 million worth of coconet, used in their infrastructure projects. The coconet is produced out of coconut wastes. The fiber is processed with special equipment,” Villar said.
She also promoted intercropping, especially now that there is large market demand of cacao and coffee. By her projection, farmers doing so can earn an additional P10,000 monthly from cacao and coffee harvests while waiting for the coconut harvest, maximizing the spaces between coconut trees. Villar added that though intercropping is long been adopted by the farmers, it was implemented incorrectly. This motivated her (Villar) for a convergence in January to involve agencies like the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to further promote intercropping.