DAR to buy tools to boost productivity amid climate change

MANILA The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will buy more equipment this year to help agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) nationwide improve their farm productivity amid climate change.

"DAR's 2018 allocation for the procurement is about PHP400 million," disclosed Emmanuel Alfiler, the agency's climate change consultant.

Alfiler said this year's procurement includes the remainder of the target equipment purchase in 2017.

The purchases are based on ARBOs' farming needs, he said. Procuring equipment is among the activities of DAR's Climate-Resilient Farm Productivity Support Project (CRFPSP).

Alfiler said on top of the equipment procurement budget, DAR also allotted PHP200 million this year for CRFPSP agri-extension services or training for the ARBOs.

Alfiler said DAR came up with CRFPSP to promote farm productivity of ARBO membersagrarian reform beneficiaries, who grouped themselves into organizationsamid the changing climate.

"The equipment will help facilitate ARBO members' farm work," he said.

Experts have warned of increasing occurrence of extreme weather, rise in sea level, and hotter air temperature as impacts of climate change on the Philippines.

Alfiler said DAR's central office procured in 2017 34 units of 90 horsepower (HP) four-wheel drive tractors, 46 units of 35HP four-wheel drive tractors, and 14 units of combine harvesters.

He added DAR is in the process of inspecting and delivering the big-ticket units to the ARBOs concerned.

DAR's provincial offices also procured and distributed last year various small-ticket farm equipment for ARBOs.

Alfiler said the recipient ARBOs could rent the equipment out to generate additional income. ARBOs do not pay for the equipment, he noted.

He clarified that ARBOs' only share is keeping the equipment well-maintained and shouldering fuel and other needs for running these.

Source: Philippine News Agency