BACOLOD City – The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) received 80 tractor units and other farm equipment from the Japanese government in support of the sugarcane industry farm mechanization program funded under the Japan Non-Project Grant Aid amounting to P314 million.
SRA Administrator Paul Azcona thanked the Japanese government for “this much needed gift to our sugar farmers to increase productivity and efficiency.”
Azcona said 51 units of tractors will be deployed to sugarcane areas in the Visayas with Negros Occidental getting the bulk at 24 units, Negros Oriental with 11 units, Iloilo will get six units, Leyte with four tractors while Cebu and Capiz will be getting three each.
Luzon sugar areas will be getting 15 tractors while Mindanao will have 14 units for their use.
Included in the shipment as well were 48 units of Sugarcane Planter, another 48 units of Lateral Flair Mower and five units of Power Harrow.
Under the grant agreement which was entered into by the Department of Finance and the SRA with the Japanese government in 2021, the sugar regulatory agency will be the owner of these farm machineries and implements procured through the grant and will submit an impact assessment report to the DOF and the Japan government three years after its implementation.
To ensure the sustainability of the program, the farm machineries and implements will be consigned to selected farmers group for a fee that is proportional to the cost of maintenance and upkeep of these.
Azcona said this “blessing” is “very much timely as we just started the new milling season and we in the industry are grateful to both the Japanese government and our own for this initiative that will go a long way in helping our sugar farmers become more efficient and productive.