Access road benefits farmers in 'vegetable basket' of Cebu

FARM-TO-MARKET ROAD. Farmers in Barangay Caleriohan, Dalaguete town, the known "vegetable basket" in Cebu province, pose during the visit of DSWD-7 officials on November 19, 2021. The P7.5-million road project under the KALAHI-CIDSS's Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay program connects the mountain village's vegetable farms to neighboring Barangay Mantalongon, benefiting more than a hundred farmers. (Photo courtesy of DSWD-7)

CEBU CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Central Visayas on Thursday said the new PHP7.5-million farm-to-market road (FMR) in a mountain village in the southern town of Dalaguete is now benefiting more than a hundred farmers.

DSWD-7 regional director Rebecca Geamala said in a statement the almost one-kilometer sectional concrete access road in Purok Talong and Purok Repolyo in the upland barangay of Caleriohan was funded through the agency’s special program targeting to benefit local residents.

She said the Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay (KKB) program under the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) sparked a ray of hope for the village's farming community who have long asked for a concrete road that would ease their difficulty in bringing their products to the market.

Geamala said the KALAHI-CIDSS’s KKB aims to empower communities through sub-projects that support livelihood like the farm-to-market roads and cash-for-work program.

With its 33 farming villages, Dalaguete has been known as Cebu's “vegetable basket” because of its geographical location and unique climate, being situated atop the highlands.

“There is much to be done in support of our farming communities, but we see this (farm-to-market road) as a welcome development for the people of Dalaguete,” Mayor Jeffrey Belciña said in the same statement.

One of the town’s primary sources of income is the production of vegetables. It supplies 70 to 80 tons of vegetable products a day to many places in the province, including Metro Cebu.

The local government records a high number of truckloads of vegetables being regularly transported to the neighboring towns and cities’ markets.

However, Belciña said transporting agricultural products is a challenge to farmers and laborers because many of the roads from the farms to Mantalongon, the town’s main market, are rough.

The DSWD’s KALAHI-CIDSS program has completed a total of 69 sub-projects in Dalaguete, mostly farm-to-market roads, footpaths, and bridges, thus empowering almost 500 farmers. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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