Better road inspires farm expansion
Veruela, Agusan del Sur -“Travel time used to be longer and difficult. Plus with the high cost of labor and transportation, only a few amount is left for us to take home.”
These predicaments, according to Rolly Among, are few reasons why many farmers limit their farm areas, concentrate on one crop or worse, quit farming.
“It was very difficult before especially when we still lived in the mountain. We had to walk for whole day while carrying our products on our back going to the town. Sometimes our farm produced had lower quality because of damages during transportation which resulted to low market price. Our income before could not sustain our daily needs. So, other farmers here already left their farms to find jobs in nearby town and cities,” Among said.
“It is different now that the road has been completed. Our transportation is much affordable now since we only have to pay P1.50 per kilo and we can just put them on the roadside to be picked up by tricycles. The cemented road really shortened our travel time,” he added.
The completed construction of the 3-kilometer Anilao to Mahayahay Farm-to-Market Road (FMR) that connects to the national road has inspired many farmers to expand the production to different commodities in the area.
The P28 million projects on farm-to-market road improved the road accessibility of all the residents especially in transporting their agricultural products. The availability of transportation vehicles that regularly ply the area during the wet season has also increased and residents no longer have to worry.
“Farmers can now easily visit their farms because of the road and their motorcycles can easily take them there, too. This time, more buyers including businessmen come to our place unlike before when there was no road. We are all grateful here for this project because our life is much better now,” Among added.
The hassle and big expense in transporting their agricultural produce have been addressed by the government through the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
“The road is really a big help in increasing the income of our farmers. The usual attitude of farmers in planting has been changed because of the road. We can now teach and encourage them to plant not just rice, but also other commodities so they can earn more. Transportation of their produce is now easy because of the road,” said Mayor Myrna Mondejar.
“We’re thankful to the Department of Agriculture for the recently completed FMR. The road in the area would really benefit our farmers. Harvest season now would be better and the cost of production would be decreased unlike before when the road was not yet constructed,” he added.
Recently, Caraga’s Regional Executive Director Abel James Monteagudo led the turn over ceremony of the road project that is now serving the 230 households in this remote community in Veruela. (Joy M. Montecalvo, PSO Mindanao InfoACE Unit)