FMR in Banga, South Cotabato opens opportunities beyond agriculture

Date Published: February 28, 2022

Significant developments are felt by constituents of Barangay Punong Grande in Banga, South Cotabato after the completion of the Concreting of Junction National Highway – Sitio Pedregoza Farm-to-Market Road (FMR).

This 9.76-kilometer road concreting subproject (SP) was funded by the Philippine Rural Development Project and the Local Government Unit (LGU) Banga.

After the project’s completion, more business establishments and structures were constructed.

Henry Pama, a barangay official of the said barangay, confirmed.

“Businessmen started to invest here when the road concreting was finished… water refilling stations, groceries and rice mills were constructed,” the official said.

He added that it was a rapid growth for the once secluded barangay.

“The unfavorable road condition was not attractive for businesses to invest here… but now, developments are already felt by various sectors,” Pama said.

Juanito Parbo, a rice mill owner, is one of those businessmen who expanded his venture because of the road development.

He added capital to his business since his losses were minimized.

“As a farmer entrepreneur, I was able to save because of the improved situation now,” he said.

“We no longer experience the delayed pick up and deliveries of tons of rice from farmers here,” Parbo disclosed.

In addition, the rice mill owner seldom encounters nowadays the dilemma of a high maintenance cost of his hauling vehicles.

The 300 rice farmers in Barangay Punong Grande and nearby communities deliver their produce to Parbo’s facility.

Clarito Silagan, the president of the Pagbun-ag Irrigators’ Association, attest to the significant change the FMR brought to his members.

“Before, it was hard to transport our harvested palay to the rice mill… but now, in just a few minutes we already reach the facility,” the farmer leader noted.

“We were able to save at least 20 minutes from here going to his (Parbo’s) rice mill,” Silagan added.

He said that they are also glad about the flourishing of businesses. Agricultural Supply enterprises were already established paving the way for his member to save time of going to town just to purchase farm inputs.

Silagan also mentioned that his members are now inspired to produce alternative crops like watermelon and vegetables. The better road access is the main reason, according to him.

Also, other residents were enticed to engage in hito production, calamansi production and other significant agri-fishery related activities. (Carl Ulysses Aguillon, RPCO 12)




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