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DAR to build P37.8-million infrastructure projects in Cagayan town

business mirrorA COMMUNAL irrigation system and a postharvest facility worth P37.8 million are expected to increase rice production and increase farmers’ income in the town of Rizal in Cagayan province.

The infrastructure projects are funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency and implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under the third phase of the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure and Support Project.

Agrarian Reform Regional Director Marjorie Ayson said she expects a big economic turnaround for the municipality once these farm-support projects are completed.

She expects the projects to encourage farmers to be more aggressive in planting rice and vegetables. With an irrigation system in place, cropping will increase to at least two or three times a year, she said.

“The farmers are now experiencing a prolonged dry spell because of the El Niño [weather pattern]. The lack of rainfall stunted the growth of rice, leading to low harvest and substandard quality because the rice failed to fully develop,” explained Ayson.

Ayson added that the construction of the communal irrigation project in Barangay Mauanan would irrigate 140 hectares of rice fields. The construction started in July and is targeted to end in April next year.

“This irrigation project will help the farmers produce high-grade quality rice. They will also be able to maximize planting seasons to three times annually,” Ayson said.

Another project currently under construction is the Malaueg Savings and Trading Cooperative (Malasatco) post-harvest facility in the agrarian reform community (ARC) of Malaueg, also in Rizal.

The facility will consist of a 60-square-meter warehouse with a 2,000-cavan capacity, a 48-sq-sq office and a 450-sq-m solar dryer.“With this postharvest facility, the 476 agrarian reform beneficiaries of Malaueg ARC would soon have a proper place to store their harvested crops. Spoilage would be minimized, if not averted,” Ayson said, adding that it would also allow them to wait for fair market value of their harvest.

The Malasatco postharvest facility is already 30-percent complete, with the local government of Rizal shouldering the cost of backfilling and perimeter fencing.

The project is expected to be completed and operational this November, Ayson said.  

Source: Business Mirror

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