‘Epal’ tarps can be useful for farmers too – Quiboloy
Davao-based Pastor Quiboloy has proposed to put into real use the massive political tarpaulins as drying mats for the country’s crops to save government millions of pesos using expensive solar dryers.
Quiboloy, whose endorsement is being sought by politicians given his huge flock, noted that tarpaulins or trapal have been produced in industrial scale and are used for political propaganda and false advertisement.
These tarps can be recycled for its true use as drying mats for local crops — copra, corn and rice.
“If the MMDA people continue to confiscate trucks of them, my advice is that they be donated to farmers’ cooperatives that can repurpose them into something useful,” said Quiboloy inhis The Standard column.
A 60-square meter trapal will only cost less than P1,000 in Divisoria.
If a farmer has a rubberized trapal, he will no longer lug his palay to the nearest public road for drying. He can do it in his just harvested field. He will not impede traffic, and grains will not be blown away by cars whizzing by.
When it rains, his palay is protected. And he can use his trapal as canopy for fiestas, baptism and emergency roofing during typhoons.
Comparatively, the government’s Rice Processing Complexes can only accommodate 600 sacks of palay for each biomass-fed dryer that operate every eight hours.
Farmers cannot afford the P40 fee per bag.
Solar dryers are even more expensive. One-fourth kilometer of concrete road cum solar dryer will cost millions and takes years to build, he said.
Sun drying is the norm for farmers.
They occupy flat surfaces like town plazas, basketball courts and even national roads during harvest season posing dangers to motorists. Because of this crude method of drying, studies showed that farmers lost 16.5 percent of their rice output.
In 2014, the Philippines produced 19 million tons of palay, or 380 million bags. Even if annual grains output improves to 20 million MT, 3.3 million MT or 66 million bags of wasted rice.
That should be enough to feed the 22 million Mindanaoans for one year and four months, the pastor concluded.