In its commitment to accelerate the transformation of Philippine agriculture, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is prioritizing the construction of farm-to-market roads (FMR) and provision of mechanization projects to give greater access to and from food sources and production areas and improve production efficiency.
To keep account of these projects, the participatory monitoring and tracking team of the Agricultural and Fishery Council (AFC) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries has been visiting DA-funded projects in various regions to determine how these projects affected the lives of the farmer-beneficiaries.
The team visited completed FMR projects in barangays San Guillermo, Rizal and Laoag Magbunga in the municipality of San Marcelino, Zambales. These FMRs are being used by both the farmers in the area to transport their produce like rice, mangoes and sweet potatoes in the nearest market and by residents and students of the Magsaysay State University by having an improved pedestrian access.
The FMR project was requested by the Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) through a resolution passed under the San Marcelino Municipal AFC. The project is yet to be turned over to the respective BLGUs who will be in charge of the management and maintenance of the project.
Farm equipment and machinery provided to the farmer are also being utilized by the members and non-members of the associations and cooperatives. Monitored farm equipment in various barangays include shallow tube well, seed spreader, and cultivator while machineries monitored were mechanical flash dryer and recirculating dryer.
The monitoring team visited 16 projects in the municipalities of Iba, Cabangan, San Felipe, Botolan, San Marcelino, San Antonio, Castillejos, Subic and Olongapo. Out of the 16 projects, three are FMRs, nine farm equipment and four are machinery. | JB (Photos courtesy of PCAF-WeTrack)