THE Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) said it has commissioned radio programs to prepare farmers for the mechanization of rice cultivation, including post-harvest processing.

PhilMech said over the weekend that 11,682 farmer-beneficiaries affiliated with 892 cooperatives and associations are enrolled in the “Radyo Eskwela” program, created to support the mechanization component of the P10-billion Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF), which was created by Republic Act No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law.  

It added that enrollees go through six modules, with three to four lessons per module, on topics such as farm mechanization principles and machinery know-how.

Baldwin G. Jallorina, PhilMech executive director, said the program aims to help farmers who have received machinery to use and maintain their units effectively.

“There is a need to further educate and train farmers using various avenues like radio and social media to complement hands-on training,” Mr. Jallorina said.

“Eventually, those who finish the series can influence more farmers to be open… about farm mechanization,” he added.  

According to PhilMech, the lessons are simultaneously aired in Tagalog, Hiligaynon, Cebuano, Waray, Chavacano, Bicolano, and Iloco by radio anchors and PhilMech technical experts in the field.

The radio program airs 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday across 27 AM stations and six FM stations of the Radio Mindanao Network. Farmers can also access the program via its Facebook page and YouTube channel.

“Those who are not from the farmers’ cooperatives and associations can also listen to Radyo Eskwela by accessing its online platform,” PhilMech said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave