April 17, 2024

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said Thursday more farm-to-market roads should be built in remote areas in the country to improve the flow of food supply.

In a statement issued on Thursday, DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III said a memorandum was provided to its regional and provincial offices with the list of completed and ongoing bridge projects under the Tulay ng Pangulo para sa Kaunlarang Pang-agraryo (TPKP).

Estrella also requested DAR field offices to submit proposed farm-to-market road projects that would connect completed bridge projects to the main roads.

“The best way to improve the flow of food supply is to improve our road networks, from as far as the remotest villages to the main roads leading to the market centers so that farmers themselves can bring their fresh harvests easily,” he said.

Through Memorandum 326, series of 2022, DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Milagros Isabel Cristobal ordered all provincial agrarian reform program officers to identify completed and ongoing TPKP projects “that will require extension of the bridge approach roads to connect it to the main thoroughfare.”

The DAR said 140 bridges had been completed under the TPKP project, a joint project between the Philippines and French governments.

Construction for 29 other bridges is ongoing while another 17 are still under study or in the pre-construction stage.

Improving road networks would greatly help farmers maximize their earning potential, Estrella said.

He added that with completed farm-to-market roads, farmers could directly haul their harvests to the city and town markets, rather than selling their products to traders or middlemen at very low prices.

“With improved road network, the cost of hauling or transportation will be much lower and affordable for our farmers,” Estrella said.

With the cut in transportation and logistic costs, the prices of farm products are also expected to naturally go down, benefitting consumers. – PNA1