Farming with ease
Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte- Before the concreting of Sangay-Mahayahay farm-to-market road (FMR) in municipality of Kitcharao, farmers here suffered from poor state of existing unpaved road that makes transportation of farm produced more costly and difficult to bring to trading centers.
“It was difficult. Our products like bananas usually get bruised because we placed it in a basket carried by a carabao sledge. When our product reached the market, they were sold for a very low price,” said farmer Nelia Jeroy.
“Before, we spent 8 hours in harvesting our crops since we had to haul it from farm to the nearest road. I usually spent P200.00 for hauling since the price per sack was around P30.00-50.00,” said Barangay Captain Bartolome Abejero.
Through the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), the completed 1.5 kilometers concreted FMR worth P14 million, which is directly connected to the national highway, now provides ease in the transportation of farmers and residents in the recipient barangays.
“It’s very different now. There are no more damages in our products since the concreted road became available and we can just call the tricycle driver to pick up and deliver our products to the market,” said Jeroy.
“Our usual travel time now is only 4 hours from farm to town since the road is much better and we just have to put our products by the roadside. The usual amount I pay for hauling cost of all my products decreased to P50.00 which is around P15.00 per sack. The FMR road in our barangay is really a great help,” added Abejero.
Locals here are expecting increase in farm productivity and profitability since the project’s completion in January 18, 2018. Many farmers have been active again working in their farm while others are motivated to expand their area since transportation is no longer a problem for them.
“It’s easier for us now to visit and maintain our farms since it’s just one motorcycle ride going there. That’s why our harvest also improved. My usual net income before was 100 sacks of rice, now it increased to 120 sacks. For coconut, I usually have 900 kg of copra but with better roads now it increased to 1200 kg,” said Abejero.
According to Abejero, their barangay’s economic activity is increasing because there are more traders coming in to their barangay and there is also an increased number in traffic count of vehicles using the road.
The barangay council is planning to propose an ordinance that would limit the overloaded vehicles passing the road in order to maintain and sustain the project. They will also install street light for the safety of residents and travellers. A total amount of P5000 will be also allocated yearly for the road maintenance.
This road that traverses the agricultural farm lands of the Brgy. Sangay and Mahayahay now serve 639 household.
“We saw the big contribution of the project to our municipality not only to our farmers but also to others who can now utilize their land. They can build their houses and the barangay has expanded since it’s no longer idle because of the available road,” said Kitcharao Municipal Mayor Aristotle E. Montante.
“Thank you very much to PRDP for the big support and for giving this project which serves the needs of our people,” said Montante. (Joy M. Montecalvo, PSO Mindanao InfoACE Unit)