The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao under the stewardship of Sec. Alexander G. Alonto Jr. have participated in the 5th Leg of the Makina Exposition held on September 7-9 in Iloilo International Convention Center and Western Visayas Integrated Research Center, Iloilo City.

In an official pronouncement of DA Region 6 Executive Director Remelyn Recoter, the number of attendees reached almost 3000 composed of farmers, stakeholders, farmer-leaders, engineers, state colleges/university researchers, banner coordinators as well as other key players from the 16 regions of DA across the country, out of which 33 delegates came from the DAF-ARMM.

DAF-ARMM participants led by Rice Report Officer Ms Edna Bajao representing Asec. Eugene B. Strong were composed of farmer-leaders, SWISS, irrigators association, engineers, banner coordinators, researchers from Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao and other key officers from DA Regional Office.

Honorable Senator Cynthia Villar, the concurrent Committee Chair on Agriculture and Food, graced the event during its opening program. She emphasized that farm schools should integrate or include the repair and maintenance of farm machineries in their curriculum as she urged the crowd of participants to dream and consider farming as a business venture. Moreover, Villar noted that it’s not about “how we buy the agri machineries” that matters. Rather, it’s how we maintain it functional and effective, she stressed.

In his message, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said that lack of access to efficient farm equipment and facilities have great effect on the level of national postharvest losses.
He stressed that if we wish to change the situation, we must increase the farmers’ productivity and income, give them what’s best so that in turn we can change their mindset that what we give them are ‘useless’.

Sec. Piñol also disclosed that Japan has 16% mechanization rate while we only have 2% rate in the Philippines that is why we have an average of 16% postharvest losses in a year. Secretary Pinol added that if we can reduce the losses we incur annually, rice sufficiency is likely to happen.

Part of this expo’s highlights were the conduct of press conference, exhibit display of the latest machineries from different suppliers/companies, plenary presentations many of which were done by international speakers, tractor driving course, actual demonstration on the operation and use of the machineries conducted at the WESVIARC wherein companies like Yanmar, Ford and Kubota showcased their different machineries such as tractor, rice transplanter, and combine harvester. Small engine repair and servicing and actual demo on machine assembling and disassembling was also done.

Meanwhile, a raffle draw also highlighted the 2017 expo. Delegates from ARMM like PAO Pangalian Balindong Jr., Saudi Maguindra and Naga Tocalo won some of the major prizes in the raffle. The grand prize, a 52-inch flat screen TV is won by Pangalian, while Maguindra and Tocalo took home solar cleaner and solar electric stove respectively.
The theme of the event was dubbed as “Aangat ang Pagsasaka sa Paggamit ng Tamang Makinarya. The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Engineering (BAFE) hosted the event in partnership with DA-RFO 6 and other attached agencies under the DA.