North Bukidnon– The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)  conducted a ground-breaking ceremony of the Concreting of Mantibugao-Sebucawan-Awol farm to market road in Lunocan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, last April 7, 2019.

The 3.8-kilometer road with 20 linear meter spillway is expected to bring agricultural boost in the area.

“Absence of farm to market roads in the said area has caused small farmers to make their farmlands idle and unproductive. Adding to their plight is high cost of transporting their produce from the farm gate to market sites and the lack of post-harvest facilities”, says Bukidnon PARPO II and Provincial Project Director Norberto Paquingan.

The barangays of Mantibugao and Lunocan are composed of poor farming households who are Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) with high poverty incidence.

“Farmers have to pay P1.00 per kilo of their produce”, Paquingan added.

Prior to the project, there was no transportation unit plying the route going to both barangays  because of the very poor condition of the trail and the lack of spillway or bridges traversing two (2) creeks and one (1) river.

The proposed subproject will benefit a total population of 10,531, with about  527 Indigenous People living in both barangays of Lunocan and Mantibugao.

Farmers particularly from sitios of Awol and Sebucawan can easily transport their respective produce to Mantibugao Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmers’ Cooperative (MARBFC) located in Barangay Mantibugao. MARBFC is the lead People’s Organization of DAR Project ConVERGE and  is equipped with post-harvest facilities and other agriculture related processing equipment units for cassava value chain.

According to Nora Pagalan, Chairman of Lunocan  ARB Primary MPC, “Kani na project, dili lang ni mo link sa among uma padung sa merkado.  Kung patsada na ang kalsada, mosugod napod na ang ubang pasilidad. daghan napod farmers na maingganyo na motanom ug cassava kay dali naman ang pg transport, minus pod ang gastos(This FMR will not only link our farms to market. If road is accessible then other facilities will follow. It will also influence other farmers to plant cassava and increase production because of easy and low transport cost)”.

After the completion, the project is expected to lessen travel time from 40 minutes to 5 minutes and freight will be lessened by 88%.

By: Abonor Macadindang