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Monitoring of the Impacts of Farmers’ Choice Policy on the Acceleration of STW Development in Central Luzon

This study was conducted primarily to monitor the impacts of farmers’ choice policy on the acceleration of STWs in Central Luzon. Specifically, the study aimed to determine the socio-demographic and economic characteristics of STW beneficiaries in Central Luzon; determine the alternative options on the acceleration of STW in Central Luzon; identify positive and negative impacts of the farmer’s choice policy; and measure the quantifiable impact of the farmers’ choice policy. Findings revealed that the respondents had an average age of 52.62 years, married and had attended formal schooling. Majority of these farmer-respondents were members of farmers organization. They have been in the farming business for almost 29 years. These farmers had an average annual income of Php73,257.79 from other sources aside from farming. On the other hand, STW loans were made through the assistance of the Department of Agriculture (DA). Requirements for the loans include recommendations from PAO, MAO and mayor, an insurance fee, and picture of drilled tubewells certified functional by the technicians. The cost of the STWs varies. Majority had acquired theirs at the cost of Php40,001 to Php50,000 per unit. Most of the respondents acquired the 4 x 4 and non-self-priming (97.52 %) belt-driven pumps. On the other hand, the pipes were mostly 4- inch and schedule 40 galvanized iron pipe. The primeover with horsepower rating of 8 consumes an average of 9.10 liters of diesel. The engine continuously functions for 14.34 hours a day. The farmers were not given the right to choose the brand of pumps, engines, pipes and other accessories, a sheer disregard to the farmers’ choice policy. Drilling and installation of the primemovers were done in different years hence, cost of installation varies. Those who have recently installed their STW cost them Php5,445.83 pesos. Drilling was done manually by the farmer-contracted drillers. The STWs functioned under optimal condition during the wet season and in sub-optimal condition during the dry season. The primeovers were used in different ways some used it as handtractor, for tilling and transporting. Most of the farmers who availed of the loans were not satisfied of the brand they acquired. Thus, farmers’ choice policy in this regard, was not observed. On the other hand, satisfaction to the program itself was revealed, however that satisfaction was more on the opportunity given them to avail of the loan package. The non-repayment of the first amortization of the loan (STW) was due to poor crop production. This is likewise caused by pests and other related diseases and damages brought about by the La Niña phenomenon. No serious problems were encountered in the application of loans except that the brand they acquired were believed to be of low quality and overpowered. On the whole, the installation and full utilization of the STWs helped improve the cropping intensity and crop yield of the farmer-respondents. The crop production of palay significantly increased by 14.68, 1.58 and 9.40 percent during the first, second and third cropping, respectively.


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