MORE than 1,000 farmers in Banga, South Cotabato are expected to benefit from a farm-to-market (FMR) road worth P6.05 million turned over by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to the local government.
In a statement, DA-Region 12 said that the newly rehabilitated 1.2-kilometer FMR in Barangay Rang-ay in Banga Town is now fully concreted, which reduces post-harvest losses during the transport of goods.
Rang-ay has more than 1,000 hectares of agricultural area, of which 750 hectares are devoted to corn and approximately 300 hectares are planted to high-value crops such as coconut, cassava, guava, as well as assorted vegetables.
“Before the rehabilitation of the FMR, transporting farm products to the market was very difficult and costly because of the bad road condition,” Rang-ay Barangay Captain Andre Singsing said, stressing that investors were deterred from financing ventures in the barangay despite its potential.
Besides the FMR, Rang-ay was also the recipient of a unit of village-type corn-on-cobs dryer worth P3 million from the Agri-Pinoy Maisan Program. The dryer is being managed by the Rang-ay Credit Cooperative.
Another village-type corn-on-cobs dryer also worth P3 million was likewise turned over to the Kooperatiba ng mga Magsasakang Pilipino ng Timog Kutabato (KOMATIKU), DA-Region 12 executive director Amalia Jayag-Datukan said.
KOMATIKU also received a cassava grater and a juice extractor, each costing P150,000, apart from three hand tractors with trailer worth P106,000 each, a rice thresher worth P120,000 via a counterpart scheme, and a warehouse and multi-purpose drying pavement (MPDP) with a combined cost of P160,000.
According to DA 12, in 2014 about P730 million was allotted for the construction of FMRs in the entire Soccsksargen Region, which includes the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani as well as the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
It said these projects are being implemented by the Department of Public Works and Highways 12.