More budget eyed for agri R&D

A substantial hike for agricultural research and development is being expected by the officials of the Department of Agriculture Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) under the Aquino administration.
Ricardo Cachuela, executive director of PhilMech, said that in 2012 PhilMech received about P2.1 billion higher than 2011 budget of P1.2 billion.
PhilMech is an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture tasked to oversee the development of post-harvest technology and mechanization. Part of the PhilMech function is the continued research and development of various post-harvest technology and applications which could benefit the farmers in rural farmlands and remote upland barrios.
DA’s budget for research and development alone in 2012 is P4-billion and by 2013 it is expected to be increased, Cachuela told the media during Thursday›s (Mar. 8) special edition of Kapihan sa PIA-XI.  He said that the budget increase means that the Aquino administration is all-out in its support for research and development.
He said that aside from the DA and the Department of Science and Technology, there are other agencies and offices conducting R&D in their fields among these include State Universities and Colleges or SUCs. Cachuela said there is a need to improve R&D in their agency particularly in the upgrade of technology since most of these tools are expensive.
He cited that a Refractrometer, which is used to analyze chemicals would cost more than a million pesos, a Gastromatograph used to examine elements costs also the same amount and a machine vision technology intended for rice research would cost a couple of millions.(PIA-11/RG Alama)