ROAD PROJECT TO HELP INCREASE FARMER'S INCOME

SAN DIONISIO, ILOILO, September 17, 2003  (STAR) Local residents here can now look forward to greater economic opportunities as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) gave the go-signal to start the construction of the P5.1-million farm-to-market road to help farmers increase their incomes and improve their quality of life.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Roberto M. Pagdanganan said the 2.12-kilometer road is expected to ease transportation of farm goods to the market and spare local residents from unscrupulous traders who usually buy their produce at low price.

The road project, jointly sponsored by DAR and the Asian Development Bank-Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ADB-ARCP), covers four barangays – Capinang, Pase, San Nicolas and Bondulan, which made up the Capisan Agrarian Reform Community (ARC).

Construction of farm-to-market roads in remote barangays tops the priority list of the Pagdanganan administration, having allocated for such projects at least P4 billion from its share in the P38-billion recovered ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.

Other major concerns of DAR includes the construction of bridges, irrigation and post-harvest facilities, among others. These are meant to enhance farm productivity in over 3.4 million hectares of agricultural land, about 80 percent of the total scope of 4.29 million hectares, already distributed to some 1.9 million farmer-beneficiaries nationwide.

DAR regional director for Western Visayas, Alexis Arsenal said the Capisan project would help enhance the potential of the Capisan ARC, which has a combined land area of 813.9 hectares planted to rice, corn and vegetables.

Flowers for all occasions also abound in the community, which is also noted for beautiful crafted handicraft and ceramic products. Livestock, hog raising and aquaculture and also major source of income of local residents.

"This road project shows that the government’s agrarian reform program is not all about land distribution. We also see to it that the farmlands that we have distributed to our farmer-beneficiaries become more productive," Arsenal said during the groundbreaking rites attended by Gov. Nell Tupas and Mayor Pio Villanueva, among others.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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