February 5, 2023

Farmers in Barangay Bagu, Bakun, Benguet are now expanding their production area with the construction of a 300-meter length slope protection implemented under the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).
Barangay Bagu is situated at the lower part of the mountain, which makes the area susceptible to landslides and floods.
Bagu Punong Barangay Tito Pacuz said that the project site is once a wide area of rice fields until an erosion occurred in 1967 caused by heavy rainfalls followed by the eruption of Mt. Tenglawan in 1984.
“Rice and sweet potato were previously grown in the area but after erosions occurred, the soil was altered and people do not want to cultivate the lands anymore. Hence, the then rice fields became a pasture area,” he said.
The lack of slope protection structure has significantly caused a reduction in the production area of farmers in Bagu.
With the completion of the slope protection, unproductive lands are expected to be cultivated in the coming years, thereby increasing production area from 17 to 36 hectares and increasing average yield by 29.33 percent.
The construction of slope protection in Barangay Bagu was completed in February 2018. On-farm activities are now observed within the service area such as tilapia ponds, pastured livestock animals, and cultivated lands. – Elvy S. Taquio