The provision of one (1) Kobuta DC.70 Corn Combine Harvester last March 02, 2020 at Lingion, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, adds robust to the corn harvesting operation in the cluster.

The Corn Combine Harvester is an all-around machine that efficiently separates the corn kernel from its husk, silk, and ear on a singular process. It is manned by one (1) main operator and accompanied by one (1) buddy. Also, it is fueled by diesel and has the capacity to harvest 2-4.5 hectares of corn per day. It ramps the harvesting process faster and yields higher output of corn harvest over the manual method which can prolong to a number of days or a week, depending on the number of hired farm workers, to cover a hectare of corn. The machine can produce an estimate of 15-20 sacks per hour on first cropping (May to June) and an estimate of 9-10 sacks per hour during second cropping (October).

Furthermore, the conventional method demands a number of hired laborers which currently is a challenge faced by many farm owners in the area. The availability of farm workers has been erratic due to several factors, one is the continuous massive hiring of the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector spread throughout several municipalities in Bukidnon that offers competitive salaries and benefits. Adding to the headache is the ‘gana-gana’ or mood tendencies of farm workers that can slowdown the production output during the harvest. The timely arrival of the machine provides farm owners concrete options to counter the erratic number of available farm workers and farm workers’ unpredictable mood tendencies.

Indicative interviews illustrate that the manual method of corn harvesting at present approximately costs 12,000-14,000 pesos, that covers harvesting and sacking. Another 2,000-3,000 pesos for shelling, amounting to 17,000 pesos per hectare, can still vary depending on the actual number of hired laborers. It doesn’t end there; a farm owner also needs to pay another 3,000-3,500 pesos per hectare of labor for ‘lampas’ or clearing the farm land. With that said, the farm owner will exhaust a grand total of roughly 20,500 pesos per hectare.

On the contrary, farmers who are interested to avail the service of the Corn Combine Harvester can save up to almost 7,300 pesos per hectare. He/she would only pay for its rent amounting to 12,000 pesos per hectare to the cooperative that covers the fuel, main operator, and a buddy. The farm owner will also add a manageable amount of 1,200.00 pesos for four (4) laborers who will assist during the operation. The clearing of the land is an output induced by the machine during its operation. Thus, it is discretionary for the farm owner to pay for further ‘lampas’. What is good is that the crushed debris left during operation partly fertile the farm land making it ready for the next cropping.

Manual Method *Corn Combine Harvester
Harvest Cost (estimates) in Pesos Cost estimates in Pesos
Picking & sacking/hectare 14,000 Rental of harvester/hectare 12,000
Corn shelling/hectare 3,000 Labor (4 persons x 300 pesos) 1,200
Post-harvest labor for land clearing/hectare 3,500
Total 20,500 Total 13,200

Source: Interview with Antonio Juanitas Sr., Vice-Chair of Mantibugao Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmers Cooperative (MARBFC), Charle Limas, Regional Value Chain Specialist RPMO 10, and Michelle Medura, Provincial Value Chain Specialist PPMO North Bukidnon.

Additionally, the Corn Combine Harvester also secures additional income to the cooperative of around 8,200 pesos, already factoring operational costs. The cooperative can also serve as a one stop shop and eases the burden of farm owners who would prefer to transact with one entity due to logistical concerns.