KAPATAGAN, LANAO DEL NORTE— Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office (DA RFO) Northern Mindanao Regional Executive Director, Carlene C. Collado, formally handed over to the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte the P4.8 million fully operational seeds warehouse and P1.5 million drone sprayer.

Construction of the warehouse and provision of the drone sprayer are funded under the DA’s National Rice Program. Granting of the drone sprayer is part of DA Northern Mindanao’s farm modernization projects in the region. The sprayer is useful in automating fertilizer application in rice fields at 5-10 minutes per hectare field capacity. 

The intervention is a pilot project of DA Northern Mindanao in Lanao del Norte, subject to cost-efficiency assessment and feedback from the recipients before widespread implementation.

Meanwhile, the 300-square meter warehouse rises inside Lanao del Norte’s Provincial Nursery and Seeds Farm (PNSF) in Kapatagan town with a storage capacity of 306 metric tons.

It is strategically situated and accessible to the municipalities of Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lala, Sapad, Tubod, Baroy, Nunungan, Salvador and Baroy.

It will be utilized to shelter DA-granted farm equipment, farm inputs such as fertilizers and seeds, and harvested palay of bonafide farmers in the province.

Said warehouse will also serve as the field office of the province’s Agricultural Technicians (ATs) and Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs).

In his message, Director Collado commends the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte in its effort of helping the rice farmers in the province by buying their produce at a higher rate, amid the plunging palay farmgate price.

He urged the Provincial Agriculture Office to propose for the establishment of more and bigger rice mills in the province, enabling the province to independently produce its own market and consumption-ready rice supply.

“As the national winner of the Rice Achiever Awards, Lanao del Norte should continually strive to upscale its rice production programs. You need to pinpoint the agricultural assistance needed by our farmers, especially in this pandemic. Propose the desired projects, so that we will be able to allocate the required funding,” Collado called unto the local agriculturists.

“As food security frontliners, we need to stay active in mobilizing assistance needed by our farmers amid the uncertainties of this crisis. We need to ensure food security,” he stressed.

For her part, Letecia G. Ditucalan, Lanao del Norte’s Provincial Agriculturist said, the warehouse will be optimally utilized to secure the farmers’ seeds, providing them proper storage facility.

“We are grateful for DA Northern Mindanao for granting us this project. We dream of this facility to resemble DA Northern Mindanao’s research center. The construction of this warehouse is a step closer to that dream,” Ditucalan accounted.

In 2021, Lanao del Norte will be granted another agri infrastructure project from DA Northern Mindanao for the construction of a P10 million cold storage in Lala, Lanao del Norte.“This facility is of great help in protecting our farmers’ seeds, pieces of machinery, and equipment. However, to help solve our farmers’ problems we need to think outside the box, work together, and go the extra mile in serving our farming constituents,” Audy G. Maagad, DA Northern Mindanao’s Field Operations Division OIC-Chief remarked.