Published: Friday, 25 January 2013 01:34 PM
Indigenous farming folks in uphill barangay in Aguilar town, Pangasinan province, are now enjoying greater economic opportunities from the road project of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Atty. Raul C. Laluan said that 773 individuals who are mostly agrarian reform beneficiaries in Sitio Mapita, Barangay Laoag, 15 kilometers from town proper, now benefit from the road.
“The 13.3 kilometers concrete Laoag-Mapita Farm-to-Market Road makes travelling and transportation farm goods from their upland villages easier and cheaper,” Laluan said.
Laluan said the road project, courtesy of the Department of Agrarian Reform- Asian Development Bank- Agrarian Reform Community Project (DAR-ADB-ARCP) reduced the travel time to about 45 minutes for uphill and 25 minutes going downhill.
“Unlike before, by riding a horse or hiking, it takes six to eight hours to travel.” Laluan said.
Rodolfo Mallari, president of the Sitio Mapita High Value Crop Growers Association (SMHVCGA), said that they have greater flexibility in their dealing with traders, following the concreting of the farm-to-market road.
Sitio Mapita covers 14,130.37 hectares, wherein 59 hectares are devoted to rice while a total area of .0580 hectares is devoted to high value crops such as tomatoes and bell peppers.
The road project also served the 341 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARB’s) in Laoag ARC under the Mapita ARB Producers’ Cooperative, another existing cooperative in Sitio Mapita whose members are also the members of the Sitio Mapita High Value Crop Growers Association.
Each one of the members of the cooperative has a 200 square meter lot planted with high value crop.
The SMHVCGA belongs to Laoag Agrarian Reform Community (Laoag ARC) whose members is holding talks to fast-food chains and restaurant in the province as far as southern part of Luzon in supplying tomatoes and bell peppers from their farms.
Department of Agrarian Reform Elliptical Road, Diliman Quezon City, Philippines Tel: (632) 928-7031 to 39
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