The CDA and the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization or PhilMec held a meeting on April 19, 2021 for project development planning activity for rice farmers cooperatives under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Law.

These agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding on March 11 this year to collaborate for the promotion of scientific and technical cooperation in the field of Agricultural Postharvest and Mechanization.

The partnership will give focus on two aspects: enhancing the capacity of the rice farmer cooperatives, particularly on enterprise development and cooperative training requirements, and conversion of farmers associations into a cooperatives.  Through the enterprise development trainings, farmers are expected to acquire skills to manage the machineries that will be granted to them.

As an initial action towards the implementation of this program, a Joint Management Committee will be created and will craft the Project Development Plan/Framework.

PhilMec is an agency attached to the Department of Agriculture, located at CLSU Compound, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija.  It is mandated to develop and promote appropriate postharvest and agricultural mechanization technologies to increase resource-use efficiency and reduce postharvest losses. PHilMech also manages the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – Mechanization and Rice Extension Services Program.

The meeting was attended by CDA Asst. Secretary Virgilio Lazaga, Executive Director Ray Elevazo and representatives from the different units of the CDA.  On the other hand, PhilMec was represented by Dir. Arnel Ramir Apaga, Mr. Genaro Tolentino and others.