P1.2-M to ease Silay farmers’ transport constraints

MEMBERS of Patag Farmers Integrated Social Forestry Association (Pafisfa) in Barangay Patag, Silay City, Negros Occidental said they are facing constraints in the farm-to-market delivery of their products and commodities.

Pafisfa is comprised of 57 active members, who are mostly certificate of stewardship contract (CSC) holders.

Its chairman Eladio Panganiban said that although some regular and contracted buyers are the ones directly getting the products from the farm-source, farmers still deliver some of their produce to different markets in the neighboring cities and municipalities including Bacolod, Talisay, and Victorias.

Barangay Patag is less than an hour away from the city proper with mostly rough roads, thus, aside from longer transportation period, the products’ quality also become vulnerable.

Jo Ann Diosa, agricultural technologist of Silay City Agriculture Office, said the City Government recognizes the big contribution of organic farmers in Barangay Patag to the local agriculture industry.

Silay City Agriculture Office records showed that of the city’s total organic production, about 50 percent is contributed by farmers of Patag.

To address these constraints, the city government is planning to purchase a refrigerated van worth P1.2 million through the 2015 Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) program.

Diosa said that Silay City has a 10 percent counterpart in the purchase of refrigerated van next year intended for the use of farmers not only in Patag, but also in other barangays in the city.

“This is to help farmers maintain the quality and quantity of their products,” Diosa said, adding that this will also further increase the efficiency of product delivery which will translate to better income.

Under the project, the maintenance expenses, including fuel and payment for the driver, will be shouldered by the city government for one year.

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