New DA roads in SK town ease farmers of hauling costs
Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat – For 53-year old Ronnie Sudio, a pockmarked road that has made transport of rice produce to markets difficult for farmers like him has been the norm.
Sudio, who is now a barangay councilor, said that he used to be chided by some of the residents with the road’s previous deplorable conditions.
“There were instances when I am plowing my farm and someone passing the road would say to me in jest that the road is good for planting rice too,” he said.
But with a new and concreted road, Sudio said that he no longer hear those comments anymore.
He is referring to the 1.8-kilometer L. Aserto-Rodrigo farm-to-market road (FMR), which was funded under DA’s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) through its infrastructure or I-BUILD component.
The road, which was completed in May last year, and has started to bring benefits to farmers particularly a reduction in hauling costs.
“We used to spend a lot for hauling cost just to even bring the produce to the portion of the road where vehicles can collect it,” he said.
Aside from the P15 hauling fee, farmers who live much farther than the road used to incur double hauling cost but has now been reduced.
“This PRDP project is a blessing to us farmers who used to endure a lot of difficulties before this road was constructed,” he added.
In two separate barangays where the farmers’ rice area are not located near their houses, traveling to and from their farms to the barangay or town center had been difficult.
“We are more motivated to go to the farm now,” said Edwin Maggay, 53, of Barangay Midtapok, who has been farming since he was in high school.
With the concreting of the 1.5-kilometer Masculado Abellera-ARC 2 FMR in their barangay, buyers now go directly to the farm areas to collect their rice produce ridding themselves of hauling fees.
“Once the harvesting is done, you can say when you come home that you have brought your day’s earnings,” Maggay said.
For farmer Tasil Mohamad Tahir, 35, of Barangay Pimbalayan transporting their produce used to be expensive.
“From our place in Purok Everlasting to the barangay center, we use carriages (kariton) and would spend P15 hauling fee plus an additional cost of P30 from the barangay center to Lambayong proper,” he said.
Since the harvester and trucks that collect their produce can now pass through the concreted 1.3-kilometer E. Peralta-Asuncion FMR, Tahir said that it only takes an hour or less to bring their rice to the town proper.
With 10 percent equity, Lambayong Mayor Ramon Abalos said that investing in PRDP projects offers a good opportunity for LGUs to bring development in their communities.
“The psychological impact (of these projects) in the community is very significant especially with the young. They would say na ganito na pala ang community natin. You would see how happy they are,” he said.
Another 1.2-kilometer Lambay-Sambilan FMR in Barangay Lagao is among the four new road projects that were completed in Lambayong. The projects have a total cost of P54.5 million covering around 1,600 has of agricultural influence area.
“A farm-to-market road is the number one need of any farmer. Reduction of hauling costs would contribute to bigger income of farmers,” Sudio said. (Jay M. Rosas/PSO Mindanao)