Twenty-five skilled farmers in Zamboanga Peninsula graduated during the closing ceremony of the Magsasakang Mekaniko Program on Training of Trainers on Repair and Maintenance of Small Farm Engines and Motorcycle held at Girls Scout of the of the Philippines Building, Balangasan, Pagadian City recently.

The Magsasakang Mekaninko Program is a multi – agency convergence for a sustainable farm level mechanization. The collaborating agencies are Department of Agriculture (DA), Philippine Center for Post Harvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Agricultural Machinery Manufacture and Distribution Association (AMMDA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)

The Magsasakang Mekaniko Program was officially launched on September 27, 2018 in Pagadian City. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was also signed on the same day.

“The program aims to establish a barangay level service center for agri-machineries by developing a pool of competent small farmer technicians; to ensure the sustainability of mechanization by including farm machinery servicing into the extension modality of local farmer technicians, operators and other rural farmer agents; and to provide livelihood support to competent farmer technicians,” said Director Arnel Ramir M. Apaga, PhilMech.

The target beneficiaries are small farmers and fisher folks, farm service provider operators,

local farmer technicians and extensionists, and other appropriate rural labor providers. They joined the 6 – day intensive training from September 27 to October 2, 2018. The trained participants also received a set of repair and maintenance tools worth ₱10, 000.00 to start their livelihood.

“The training and workshop has been a great help in farming. Due to inadequate services for agricultural machineries right at the farm, it results to delays in farm operation and deterioration of farm machineries. With the skills gained, we can assist in the farm,” said Nurodin Empeynado, farmer, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

“This training is so timely. We need additional income in our family. This repair and maintenance skill can get us an additional job and income,” expressed Elias Garcia, fisherman, Bulanit, Pagadian City. (ICageguin/ DA9)

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