HBioethanol Fuel Feeding DevicePhilRice, in partnership with the Bureau of Agricultural Research and International Rice Research Institute, developed new machines to help farmers cut on fuel and labor costs.

The Hydrous Bioethanol Fuel-Feeding Device, installed in a modified spark-ignition engine, uses hydrous bioethanol fuel to power small agricultural machines.

“It can power microtillers, power tiller haulers, micromills, water pumps, pump boats, and other machines operated by gasoline engine,” said Engr. Alexis Belonio, lead engineer of the device.

Hydrous bioethanol fuel can be extracted from sugar-rich crops such as nipa, sugarcane molasses, acacia fruit, and pineapple peels using a bioethanol fermentation and distillation facility.

“With our depleting supply of fossil fuel, the use of bioethanol technology is a cost-efficient system because our farmers can now produce and use clean alternative fuel from their farm resources at the least cost,” Belonio added.

MP SeederAnother machine developed by PhilRice is the Hand Tractor Mounted Multi-Purpose Seeder (MP Seeder). The machine is attachable to local hand tractors with ride-on operator for mechanical dry direct-seeding for rainfed areas.

“Aside from rice, it can also plant mungbeans and corn seeds in dry pulverized soil and later cover the seeds with another layer to protect them from birds and rodents,” said Engr. Eden Gagelonia, lead engineer of the MP seeder.

The MP seeder can reduce farmer’s labor cost by around 20-30%, according to Gagelonia.

“It also hastens the planting process. Normally, laborers finish the job by at least one whole day but with the MP seeder, farmers can finish planting for half a day or even as fast as 3 hours,” she added.

The machine is an attachment to common hand tractors that are already owned by farmers to lessen their expenses.

Both machines are to be commercialized in 2018.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute