FARMERS’ cooperatives from Maguindanao expect an increase of income after receiving a P5 million warehouse and solar dryer projects from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Mafar-Barmm).

Dr. Daud Lagasi, Mafar-Barmm director-general for agriculture services, highlighted the significance of the solar drying pavement integrated with the well-designed warehouse.

Lagasi said the system aims to revolutionize the drying and storage processes for the cooperative's agricultural produce in Bialong, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao del Sur.

"The system would gear solar energy, enabling efficient drying of various crops, while the warehouse provides a secure and convenient storage facility for their post-harvest,” Lagasi said in a statement Friday, June 2.

Constructed by a private construction firm, the warehouse spans 300 square meters and can accommodate 10,000 bags, while the solar dryer measures 24-by-50 meters and has a drying capacity of 100 to 120 bags at one time.

Sheik Muhidin Mohammad Abdulrahman, a member of the board of Salindao Farmers Marketing Cooperative (SFMC), expressed gratitude to the Mafar for empowering farmers in Bialong village and enhancing the agricultural value chain in the area.

"Indeed, this warehouse and solar dryer are really blessings to us from the Almighty Allah and Mafar-Barmm, which will help us farmers in enhancing our agri-products for storage and drying while minimizing our losses and cost of our production,” Abdulrahman said.

Sharrif Aguak Municipal Councilor Daud Upam highlighted the collaborative efforts and partnerships that made the project a reality for the cooperative.

He emphasized the commitment to sustainable practices and rural development.

The facility was inaugurated and turned over last week to the SFMC, the beneficiary of the project. (SunStar Zamboanga)