MRDP builds more roads, opportunities in Mindanao-A A +A
Thursday, February 14, 2013
THERE are more road networks now in Mindanao, driving more economic opportunities for the rural people especially farmers.
Lealyn A. Ramos, program director of the Department of Agriculture's (DA) Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) said the program has completed a total of 489.10 kilometer farm-to-market (FMR) roads amounting to P995.23 million, among other projects under the rural infrastructure (RI) component.
"As the completed FMR measuring a total length of close to 500 kilometers and constructing over 800 kilometers more we are not just creating a network of community linkages but also generating jobs and other opportunities in many rural areas," Ramos said.
In the program's report during the recently conducted World Bank review mission in Davao, the rural infrastructure component reflected that 71 percent of its 495 subprojects were FMRs; while communal irrigation projects account for 14 percent; potable water systems, 8 percent; bridges, 6 percent; and postharvest facilities mostly solar dryers and warehouses only 1 percent.
"These roads stimulates agricultural production by providing access to markets. It also facilitates in the transition from subsistence farming to market-oriented production, which we expect as we scale-up famers in the value-chain of various commodities," said Ramos, who is also the regional executive director of DA office in Northern Mindanao.
Roads, Ramos added, also increase rural non-farm enterprise and even creates off-farm income thus providing further economic even employment opportunities.
She said that for a long time, Mindanao badly needs roads that link communities especially the remote places to town centers, and the partnership of the local government units and the program has created impressive impact to respond this problem.
Ramos added the infrastructure projects have benefitted over 400,000 farmers who for the longest time had to endure bad road conditions and inaccessibility.
"Despite all these, we understand more still needs to be done. The output of our partnership with the local government units and the DA regional field units as forefront of implementation are a little achievement for the bigger need of better and more road networks," she said.
These roads have also improved the rapid and easy access of the residents to hospitals, increased attendance of children at school and enhanced the LGUs delivery of social services.
"Some LGUs testified that with better roads they could actually conduct office caravans in remote areas where all the divisions of the LGU go from barangay to barangay," Ramos said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 14, 2013.