Feature: Davao farm road to provide access to market, social services
by Sherwin B. Manual
Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur (6 August) -- A better road in Sitio Loay means saving farmers from the ordeal of bringing produce to market, and providing government easy access to deliver basic social services.
This pushed the local government of Sta. Cruz to invest and partner with the Department of Agriculture ? Mindanao Rural Development Program (DA-MRDP) for an "intensive rehabilitation" of close to three kilometers road in this part of the town.
Over the years, the bad road condition has contributed to the decline of agricultural productivity in the area and has put risks to school children plying the area. It also periled the bringing of social services like health and other assistance.
The rehabilitation will cost P3.5 million equally shared by the LGU and DA-MRDP.
"Majority of the residents here are farmers and this unfavorable road network here is there connection to the nearby market and town proper," said municipal engineer Joel E. Abajero.
"We have set this road rehabilitation on top of our priorities for the barangay development since we felt we have been isolated in most areas in Sta. Cruz mainly due to our poor road condition," said a barangay official.
On rainy seasons, only horses could brave the muddy road which cost farmers around P60 per sack of rice or corn.
Once completed, the road will serve at least 428 households and would help farmers save at least P25.00 per sack of any produce transported.
In the feasibility study conducted by the Sta. Cruz town, the completion of road is seen to increase farmers' income by 20 percent the least.
MRDP is long term poverty reducing intervention in Mindanao with US$83.75 million loan funding from the World Bank plus funding from the national government and the counterpart fund from the local government units.
The Program implements infrastructure projects that supports agricultural productivity, livelihood programs, governance reforms and environmental conservation.
"The LGU is at the forefront of program implementation, that means our (the program) strong partnership will make this program successful to achieve development which we aspire for across Mindanao," said program director Lealyn A. Ramos.
Further, Ramos said there is still a big bulk of funds from the Program which the qualified LGUs can available themselves of to augment their local coffers. (DAMRDP) [top]