State of On-Farm Maize Mechanization in the Philippines

renita sta. maria dela cruz

Abstract


Abstract:  This study addressed the lack of updated information on mechanization as basis of formulating relevant and sustainable programs that could immediately respond to the mechanization needs of the maize farmers. Employing one shot cross-section survey design, interviews of 1,235 maize farmers were carried out in 13 major maize-producing provinces of the Philippines covering crop year, 2012-2013. The status of mechanization was expressed in terms of the percentage of farmers using mechanical power and the  total maize area or total harvest using mechanical power for specific major operations, percentage of farmers owning specific machines used in maize, and the total utilization of power from planting to shelling maize.

Given the agro-ecological conditions where maize is predominantly grown in the Philippines, the percentage of maize farmers adopting engine-powered machines for land preparation and shelling is 44 and 66 percent of the total number of maize farmers, respectively. About one-fourth of them (26%) owned draft animals and 14 percent had pumps for irrigation.  Few of them owned four-wheel tractors (6%) and maize sheller (5%) which were also used for custom servicing. 

In terms of the total production area prepared or volume of maize produced using engine-powered machines, shelling and land preparation were already considered moderately to highly mechanized with 70 percent of the total volume of harvest passing through mechanical shellers and 49 percent of the maize area prepared by engine-powered machines.  Other production activities such as planting, crop care and drying were still done predominantly using manual power with the use of draft animals and/or farm tools.

Utilizing combined sources of farm power, namely: human, draft animals and engine-powered machines, the average total power utilized from land preparation to threshing in sample provinces were 172.12 hp-hr ha-1. Sixty-seven percent of this total power has been utilized for land preparation while 20 percent has been utilized in threshing.  The remaining power was utilized for harvesting (6%), and the combined power for planting and crop management (7%).  Constraints to mechanization were identified and recommendations corresponding recommendations were forwarded.


Keywords


maize mechanization, status of mechanization, power utilization, shellers, agricultural machinery, draft animals

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