5 warehouses completed in Apayao to provide safe storages for agri crops
Farmers in Apayao are now assured of safe storages for their harvests with the completion of five (5) warehouse subprojects funded under the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
The province of Apayao is a farmers’ haven with wide farmlands that produces bountiful agricultural products such as rice, corn, and banana among others. However, spoilage of harvest due to the lack of safe storage facilities may have hindered economic build up for the province.
A report from the Office of the Agricultural Services reveal that farmers are forced to sell their products at lower and dictated prices to traders and buyers who have storage facilities. However, during the last cropping, Reynald Borigsay, a farmer from barangay Suan, Pudtol, Apayao said that they were able to sell their produce for a higher price since their harvests were not damaged.
“Without proper storage, our harvests are easily damaged and traders would buy our produce at a lower price. But during the last cropping, we stored our harvests in the warehouse and we were able to sell our products for a higher price,” he said.
Likewise, Narciso Semana, Vice Chair of a farmer’s cooperative in Poblacion East, Flora, shared that most farmers in their area would rent storage facilities owned by private individuals or traders while some just stock their harvests outside or inside their house.
“The buying price is relatively low during harvest season and these warehouses will really help farmers to keep their harvests until they are able to sell them at the right time and earn higher income,” he added.
The completed warehouse subprojects are located in the following sites with their corresponding costs: Kalyat, Lenneng, Kabugao (P11.36 million), Suan, Pudtol (P10.87 million), Poblacion East, Flora (P10.97 million), Calafug, Conner (P9.85 million), and San Gregorio, Luna (P10.18 million). The construction of warehouse at Sta. Marcela is still ongoing with 81.24 percent physical progress as of February 15, 2020. All in all, the completed warehouses cost P53.24 million.
These warehouses are seen to reduce losses and product deterioration due to spoilage and improper storage, maintain the quality of crops, arrive at higher buying price thereby increasing the income of farmers, and increase viability of agricultural products in the province.
Meanwhile, Engr. Lhoyd Madriaga of the Provincial Project Management and Implementing Unit (PPMIU) of Apayao said that these warehouses will soon be inaugurated once all the six (6) warehouses will be completed.
“These warehouses are already completed as to project contract however, due to variations, finishing touches such as paints and other work items still needs to be complied as part of the PLGU counterpart,” he said.
Madiraga further said that some of the warehouses were already used as storage during the recent typhoon that hit the province.
To date, the province of Apayao has a total of seven (7) infrastructure subprojects including the Improvement of Sta. Maria-Mallig-Upper Atok Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) which is still under procurement. Unfortunately, the bid opening for the FMR subproject is temporarily suspended due to the Luzon-wide quarantine. ### ELVY S. TAQUIO (RPCO-CAR InfoACE Unit)