March 27, 2023

Farmers in Apayao are now assured of a safe storage facility for their harvests with the completion of five warehouse subprojects funded under the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project.

Although Apayao is known to be a farmers’ haven with wide farmlands that produce bountiful agricultural products such as rice, corn, and banana, the lack of safe storage facilities seem to hinder progress the province.

A report from the Office of the Agricultural Services showed that rather than leave their harvest to rot because of the absence of storage facilities to keep vegetables fresh, farmers are left without a choice but sell to traders at lower prices.

The advantage of having a warehouse was proven during the last cropping season when farmers were able to sell at a higher price for they were able to maintain the freshness of the crops.

“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,” said Reynald Borigsay, a farmer from Barangay Suan, Pudtol, Apayao.

Narciso Semana, vice chair of a farmer’s cooperative in Poblacion East, Flora, said most farmers in their area would rent storage facilities while some just stock their harvests outside or inside their house.

“The buying price is relatively low during harvest season and this warehouse will really help farmers have a safe storage and be able to sell them at the right time thereby increasing their income,” he added.

The warehouses are located at Kalyat, Lenneng, Kabugao (P11.36 million), Suan, Pudtol (P10.87M), Poblacion East, Flora (P10.97M), Calafug, Conner (P9.85 M), and San Gregorio, Luna (P10.18M).

Construction of the warehouse at Sta. Marcela is ongoing with 81.24 percent physical progress as of Feb. 15. Overall, the completed warehouses cost P53.24M.

These warehouses are seen to reduce losses and product deterioration due to spoilage and improper storage. – Elvy S. Taquio