Quirino farmers’ produce now safe from rotting

Z Z WEB 20160303 NATL R02 PINX PH1NAGTIPUNAN, QUIRINO PROVINCE—More than 200 farmers belonging to the Quirino Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (QFMPC) are thankful for the construction of a post-harvest facility the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently turned over to help keep their harvests in good condition.
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DAR Undersecretary for Foreign Assisted and Special Projects Herman Z. Ongkiko said the P1.7-million post-harvest facility consisted of a 72-square meter warehouse and a 202-square meter solar dryer, which the farmers could make use of to avoid spoilage of harvested crops.

“Our farmers often experience losses for lack of storage facilities,” said Ongkiko.

He said, farmers used to store their harvested crops under their houses and in makeshift barns.
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“The crops, specially during the rainy season, get wet, and eventually rot. Without proper storage, animals like cats, dogs and birds eat the farmers’ harvests even before it could be sold,” added Ongkiko.

In a separate interview, DAR Regional Director Atty. Marjorie P. Ayson explained the warehouse and the solar dryer is a big help for the farmers as newly harvested rice and corn need to be dried first and then stored while waiting for fair market price.

“Well dried rice and corn command better price than newly harvested ones. With this solar dryer, they can now fetch a good price for their crops,” Ayson said.

Ayson said the facility is the first and only warehouse facility in Nagtipunan and it now benefits 192 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and 31 non-ARBs of the QFMPC.

The post-harvest facility was implemented under the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP). Of the P1.7 million project cost, 30 percent were shouldered by the local government of Quirino and the rest was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). (Ditas Cadiente)

Photo 1: The newly constructed post-harvest facility surrounded by the people in the community in Nagtipunan, Quirino Province.

Photo 2: The unveiling of the post-harvest facility. From (R-L) DAR Undersecretary Herman Ongkiko, PARPO Arthur Faeldon, QFMPC Chairman Pedro Pandongit, JICA representative C.R. Niwa, Regional Director Atty. Marjorie P. Ayson and Asec. Minie San Juan.

Photo 3: People from DAR, JICA and the Quirino Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative pose before the post-harvest facility.