February 29, 2024

FLORA, Apayao – Residents of three barangays in this town will benefit from the construction of the P195.95 million worth farm to market road that commenced in October 2020 and is expected to be completed in December 2022.

The improvement of the 11.8-kilometer Sta. Maria-Mallig-Upper Atok FMR implemented under the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project is expected to benefit banana farmers, usher in development, and help address insurgency said Provincial Agriculturist Prudencio Bosing.

The FMR covers barangays Sta. Maria, Mallig, and Upper Atok – where bulk of the province’s banana production comes from.

Sta. Maria is the only barangay that has public transportation while residents of barangays Mallig and Upper Atok uses sledge carts pulled by carabaos to reach the part in Sta. Maria where jeepneys and tricycles can be accessed.

“Flora is where you can find large plantations of banana and the FMR will facilitate the movement of various commodities including banana, corn, rice, and other fruit trees,” Bosing said.

Banana farmer Frankilino Saul said the road improvement will help them in transporting their produce and it would be easier for buyers and traders to reach them.

Further, Bosing shared that the barangays connected by the FMR is besieged by insurgency problems.

“The completion of this road will improve the reach of government programs especially in Barangay Upper Atok, a village where rebels would usually pass through or rest,” he said.

The ongoing FMR subproject includes rehabilitation of box culvert, road widening, and construction of concrete barriers, grouted ripraps, cross drains as well as downgrading of steep road gradients.

Other PRDP subprojects in support to banana production include the completion of warehouses in Luna, Flora, Sta. Marcela, Calanasan, and Pudtol and the ongoing construction of banana consolidation and trading center in Flora and Conner. – Elvy T. Estacio