Farmers in San Agustin, Zambales expressed interest in adopting a walk-behind mechanical transplanter shown in a recent techno demo conducted by the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Seed Program.

The farm machine not only reduces labor expenses, typically requiring a team of 2-3 laborers, but it also enables farmers to plant one hectare per day. Data show that this shift reduced the expenses of hiring 13 laborers at P400 each per day.

“With the mechanical transplanter, we have cut our expenses. The only costs we incur are for fuel, significantly reducing the overall expenses from P25,000 per hectare to P6,000,” farmer-cooperator Danica Domacen said. 

Meanwhile, farmer Ofelia Castro, said that the machine has ignited her interest in farming due to its efficiency in addressing labor scarcity and reducing farm expenses.

Attendees in the techno demo also learned about the recommendations on crop establishment and nutrient management in the PalayCheck or integrated rice farming system.

“I learned about the importance of land preparation, emphasizing the need to ensure a level field. This approach promotes uniform seedling growth, enabling effective nutrient absorption during fertilization and facilitating uniform crop growth and maturity. We will apply these tips,” Richard Sta. Cruz said.

In addition to the benefits of the mechanical transplanter, farmers also receive certified inbred seeds and fertilizers from the RCEF Seed Program and the municipal agriculture office.

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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