MANKAYAN, Benguet – The provincial government was able to complete the programmed improvement of the Lungog-Pankikan farm to market road in barangay Balili to help farmers smoothly transport their produce from their farms to the nearest market.
Gov. Melchor Diclas stated that the 425-meter road is one of the numerous farm to market roads that had been provided with the needed funds to improve their existing conditions so that farmers will no longer encounter difficulties in having to drive through rugged terrain just to bring their produce to the nearest markets.
He disclosed that some 70 farmers and other residents in the nearby areas using the aforesaid farm to market road are expected to directly benefit from the improved condition of the road that was earlier provided with some P25 million to improve the same as part of the local government’s agenda on infrastructure improvement and agricultural development.
Among the highland vegetables being produced by the farmers in the said area traversed by the roadline include cabbage, potatoes and carrots that serve as their major source of income to sustain the living condition of their families.
The project was implemented through the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) and other concerned stakeholders to ensure the availability of quality road networks in the rural areas.
Diclas expressed his gratitude to the personnel of the provincial government and the partner implementers for the completion of the province’s major infrastructure project as their contributions in the realization of quality infrastructures in the countryside will help in improving the state of the agriculture sector.
The governor expressed hope that more farm to market roads in the different parts of the province will be improved in the coming years to help in further improving the quality of agricultural products being produced by the farmers to ensure its marketability upon reaching the markets for the concerned stakeholders to be able to derive decent income that will contribute in their efforts to uplift the living condition of their families.
Benguet is the source of more than 80 percent of the highland vegetables being sold in the different parts of the country that contributed in earning the province’s title as the Salad Bowl of the Philippines.
The 6 upland barangays of the municipality, including Balili, which happens to be the largest barangay, are said to be the vegetable-producing communities while the town’s 6 lower barangays are the ones that are considered to be minerally-rich and play host to the operation of large and small-scale mining operations.
Diclas assured agriculture industry stakeholders that the provincial government will sustain the provision of whatever available funds that will be made available for the continuous improvement of farm to market roads but the improvement of such roads cannot be done at the same time due to the limited funds that could be apportioned, thus, priority will have to be given to the roads that have been left out in the past.
He stipulated that he will also make representations with the concerned government agencies for the inclusion of unfunded farm to market roads in the province in the projects that will be unfunded in their future budgets because the proposed improvement of the said roads will take some time. By HENT