“Planting rice is never fun, the whole day you’re bent like an ox. You cannot stand one bit till you’re done you cannot sit. “
The playful song makes light of an accepted fact of life — it’s hard to be a farmer. So hard that the typical farmer today approaching his senior years, simply does not want the same life for his children.
So the big question right now is who will feed us?
To provide a beacon of hope, Ada Manufacturing Corp. (Adamco) empowers farmer entrepreneurs through mechanization helping fellow farmers in land preparation, tilling, transplanting, and harvesting, making the business profitable.
With its 37 branches in top rice-producing provinces nationwide, Adamco makes acquisition of agri-machineries easier and faster.
To fund its capital requirements, Adamco raised P1 billion last month through a corporate notes facility arranged by GIV Capital Holdings Corp. to finance its expenditure and capital requirements.
Heeding the call of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for banks to expand their agriculture lending portfolios, state-run Development Bank of the Philippines and Security Bank Corp. participated in the issuance of five-year notes.
“My firm belief is that agriculture should be taken as a promising business, and not as a dreaded occupational destination of the children of farmers. We do this by providing access to top-notch equipment with reasonable financing terms,” Adamco founder and chairman Mr.Roberto P. Alingog said.
The fund raising activity will help the agricultural machinery and equipment distributor to expand its reach nationwide.
“With the funds raised, we will further solidify our presence in the industry and show the country at large a simple truth — that farmers can make money in modernized farming,” Alingog added.
GIV Capital Holdings president and CEO Mr.Conrado Gloria Jr. said that there is much to be done to ensure food security in the country.
“This transaction is only the beginning for Adamco. Its mission of spurring development at the grassroots level of agriculture is of utmost importance to the country, and Adamco’s unique approach, the farmer as entrepreneur, is a transformative one,” Mr.Gloria said.
Both DBP and Security Bank supported the fund raising activity to help modernize the country’s agriculture sector.
“DBP shares the vision of ADAMCO in promoting modernity and technological advancement in the agricultural sector, and in providing our farmers access to modern agricultural machinery. Like ADAMCO, we also believe that modernization is a key element to agricultural productivity, which is why it is our honor to be a part of this funding activity that aims to benefit our Filipino farmers and agripreneurs.”, says Mr. Emmanuel G. Herbosa, President and CEO of DBP.
On the other hand, Security Bank believes that the funding extension to the agri-machinery dealer would go a long way in supporting farmers.
Security Bank believes that its funding extension to ADAMCO will go a long way in supporting our farmers who produce our food. This is also a clear way of responding to the call of government for the Banks to devote part of their portfolio to support the Agriculture industry. “This Corporate Notes Facility is an important milestone in ADAMCO’s mission to help transform the agricultural sector, and we look forward to support the company in its future endeavors. We’re proud to support these projects that align with our mission to enrich lives, empower businesses, and build communities sustainably through financial service excellence.” shares Mr. Charles M. Rodriguez, Executive Vice President and Head of Wholesale Banking Segment of Security Bank.
Adamco traces its humble roots in the 1970’s after its founder witnessed the lack of the simplest motorized equipment in his home province of Isabela.
Alingog said mechanization is key in rice farming and the Rice Combine Harvester (RCH) is a hit among farmers. On top of reducing harvesting losses at an average rate of 10 percent through a superior process, the RCH also further reduces harvesting losses because of the attendant timeliness and speed.
Prior to the introduction of RCH, 25 farm laborers are needed to harvest one hectare in one day. Despite promises made by labor contractors to bring 25 farm laborers, they end up bringing only five people thereby delaying harvesting.
“Like any fruit, palay grain when matured, falls to the ground. This is called splintering. Palay has a splintering rate of two percent per day. Hence, the delay caused by the lack of enough manpower results into substantial losses to the farmer,” Mr. Alingog said.
According to Mr.Alingog, the labor shortage situation is partly explained by the planting schedules that are aligned with the availability of water from the irrigation.
“When irrigation dams have enough water and is released for field irrigation, all the irrigation beneficiaries start to till. Hence, they also all harvest within a narrow period of time. It is to a farmer’s advantage if he goes along with the schedule otherwise if he is late in planting and late in harvesting, all the pest in the surrounding harvested fields will converge on this remaining unharvested field causing high losses for the farmer,” Mr. Alingog said.
Mr. Federico De Guzman, product development director at Adamco, also debunked claims that agri-machinery displaces farm labor, resulting to massive unemployment in the countryside.
De Guzman said that there is a report that there was indeed a large displacement of farm labor resulting into massive unemployment since the start of mechanized agri-machinery adoption in the 1970s.
Instead, what was observed ever since was that farm labor had always been in short supply.
“One reason was that farming families did not want (and still do not want) their children to become traditional farmers who personally with manual labor till the farms,” Mr. De Guzman explained.
Instead, famers want to send their children to become employees in other industries or even to become overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“Hence, the farmers who grow old and retire are not replenished in the same rate resulting at a high average age of farmers at 57 years old and the perennial shortage of farm labor,” De Guzman said.
For her part, Adamco president Ada Alethea Alingog-Nanayakkara said that the company wants to elevate the country’s agriculture sector to the next level via mechanization.
“It is always very heart-warming to see the excitement in the eyes of the farmers when we deliver the agri-machinery to them and teach them how to operate the machines. Their feeling of going to the next higher level of economic life is intense and palpable,” Ms. Alingog-Nanayakkara shared.
Well-established Yanmar brand of Japan, manufacturer of a wide range of agricultural machinery like rice combine harvesters, tractors, and transplanters has tapped Adamco as its sole dealer in the Philippines.
“We’re very pleased to see the strong growth that Adamco has shown since we established our partnership with them. The Philippine agriculture sector has so much untapped potential and we believe Yanmar and Adamco have found the right approach to mechanize the industry and help bring the country to the status it deserves,” Mr. Masatoshi Suyama, President of Yanmar Philippines Corporation (YPC) said.
To help address food security issues in the country, the private and public sectors need to introduce new initiatives.
At least one player is raring to take on the challenge. “For as long as people will eat, there will be agriculture. And for as long as agriculture is needed to provide the food, there will be Adamco,” Mr. Alingog vowed.
With mechanization and the support of Adamco, it seems planting rice can be fun after all.