P2B DA-MRDP infra project to benefit Mindanao farmers
by Sherwin B. Manual
Davao City (19 February) -- More investment opportunities await farmers and traders in rural Mindanao this year.
This after the Department of Agriculture's Mindanao Rural Development Program (DA-MRDP) is set to open up more road networks connecting farms to the market and establish better postharvest facilities this year.
DA-MRDP has pipelined over two billion pesos worth of farm-to-market roads (FMR), bridges, irrigation systems, solar driers and other postharvest facilities across Mindanao.
"Despite being costly, we frontload infrastructure projects since it creates and improves business opportunities not only to farmers but also traders and to the community as a whole," Ramos said.
Roads cuts time travel and transportation expenses of farmers in effect increasing their income. While traders could access fresh farm produce and buy them at a fair farm-gate price. Other facilities like irrigation and postharvest facilities help increase productivity.
Further Ramos underscored the importance of investing in postharvest technologies for farmers to weather the impact of climate change and prevent post-harvest losses to improve harvest quality and quantity.
"We strategically locate these projects in key production areas to pump-prime the capacity of local farmers and traders," she said, adding that "all these are vital in attaining food security and sufficiency and improving productivity."
To date, DA-MRDP has completed over 58 kilometers of farm-to-market roads mostly in Caraga region, two units of level-2 potable water systems and a 6-meter bridge.
Nearly completed projects include close to 150 kilometers of FMRs, a total of 59 linear meters bridges, five units of level-2 potable water systems and a communal irrigation system in Sulop, Davao del Sur which could service over 100 hectares rice field.
Western Mindanao (region 9) is set to target over P143 million worth of infrastructure mostly in the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.
In region 10 over P94 million worth of projects is set to established as some projects have been completed early this year while a bulk are either on-going or at procurement stage. The projects in the region will benefit the the provinces of Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental.
Region 11 has prepared one of the biggest pipeline amounting to P158.68 million whose infrastructure project will benefit the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao del Sur and Davao Oritental.
Meanwhile over P130 million worth of projects has been earmarked for the Provinces of Sarangani, North and South Cotabato.
Caraga region which has completed the most number of infrastructure projects last year is set to implement about P132 million worth of projects more. It will target the production areas in Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) posted the highest target of P206 million worth of projects.
MRDP is a long-term poverty alleviation program of the National government through DA, with funding from a loan portfolio of the World Bank and equity from the Local Government Units. (DA MRDP) [top]