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Jica-funded road projects in Pangasinan to boost farm output–DAR

business mirrorTHE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) expects farmers in two towns of Pangasinan to increase farm production with the P43.9 million worth of road-improvement projects that were funded by the Japanese government.

Local officials said the 13.5-kilometer farm-to-market road in the town of Tayug, worth P33.9 million, and the 4.7-km road in the town of Santo Tomas, worth P10 million, provide farmers better access to trading centers where they can sell their farm products.

The DAR said better roads will spur economic activities and boost farm production with farmers in far-flung areas being encouraged to do business in agriculture.

The projects implemented by the DAR under the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project are funded by the Government of Japan through the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

The rehabilitated road in the municipality of Tayug linked seven barangays—composed of Saleng, Evangelista, Panganiban, Lawak, Lichaico, Zamora and Toketek—to the town proper, allowing farmers to bring their produce on their own. The farm-to-market road is reinforced with 79.7-meter vented spillway.

The farm-to-market road will benefit the members of the Saleng, Evangelista, Lawak, Lichaico agrarian-reform community (ARC) with 1,117 beneficiaries.

In a statement, Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Gabas of Pangasinan lauded the DAR for the road-improvement project, which is expected to ease transport service even up to far-flung areas.

Gabas said that in the past, local residents were forced to walk for a few more kilometers as public-utility vehicles usually cut short their trips due to poor road condition.

“With the well-paved road, I am expecting a big turnaround in the economic activities here for the benefit of the local residents and of the community,” she said.

Farmers’ travel time to the markets will be reduced, as well as their transportation cost, while students will have an easier time going to and from their schools, Gabas said.

In the municipality of Santo Tomas, the farm-to-market road that connects barangays San Antonio and Santo Domingo is located in La Santos ARC will benefit 940 farming families.

Santo Tomas Mayor Timoteo Villar said the farmers are “very happy” with the infrastructure project because they can transport their products to various markets without delay.

“They give us this road to make life easier for us, we promise that we will take care of it,” he added.

Jica Chief Representative Takahiro Sasaki said his agency, representing the Japanese government, believes that uplifting the living condition of the poor people would help give the rural communities a sense of peace.

Sasaki said the road has opened a lot of investment opportunities for the benefit of the local residents and farmers. (Written by Jonathan L. Mayuga)

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