December 6, 2022

Heirloom rice and highland vegetable farmers now have easier access to market and lesser transport costs with the completion of a 4.577-kilometer farm-to-market road.

The P71.28-million Banata-Sumey-ang-Sadsadan FMR project in Bauko, Mountain Province is under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) of the Department of Agriculture implemented by the provincial government.

Provincial officials headed by Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. and Vice Gov. Francis O. Tauli, DA Regional Executive Director Cameron P. Odsey, and Bauko Mayor Abraham B. Akilit led the ribbon cutting, inauguration, and turnover of the improved FMR in Sitio Banata, Maba-ay while a program followed at Sitio Bato, Sadsadan on Nov. 16.

Lacwasan and Tauli commended all those who worked together for the completion of the project and also expressed their gratitude to the DA’s PRDP for bringing several other projects under the program that were implemented in the province.

Odsey said the FMR was improved to support and sustain the production of highland vegetables which are considered the best in the country.

He said high-value agriculture and expansion of the Arabica coffee industry were among the justifications for the approval of the project.

He urged the farmers and stakeholders to continue protecting the watershed that supports sustainable farming.

Sadsadan Punong Barangay Arsenio S. Damilo and Mabaay Punong Barangay Melecio T. Paltiyan welcomed the development in their place and gave their commitment to help in preserving the FMR.

They said the improved FMR shortened the travel time of commuters and the transport of produce; thus, reducing post-harvest losses. 

Charles Cabradilla of the Provincial Engineering Office said the subproject was proposed to the PRDP in October 2014 with a length of 8.483 kilometers; however, due to road-right-of-way issues, it was reduced to 4.577 kilometers.

The project underwent a long process until it formally started in March 2017.

The FMR is benefitting 2,724 households or 13,620 individuals. – Erwin S. Batnag