APAYAO, June 14 - -Warehouses will soon be constructed in seven municipalities of the province to boost the income of farmers here.
Apayao is known to be a farmers' haven with its wide fertile farmlands that produce bountiful agricultural products like rice, corn, banana, and coffee, among others.
But lack of safe storage facilities to keep these crops was identified as among the factors hindering the desired economic build up for the province.
Reports from the Office of the Agricultural Services show that losses brought about by the absence of storage facilities for major crops reach up to 30 percent while only 10% could have been lost if these were stored in appropriate warehouses or storage facilities.
"Farmers are forced to sell their products at lower and dictated prices to rice millers and buyers who have storage facilities," the report said.
Such situation prompted the Department of Agriculture's Philippine Rural Development Project Project (PRDP) Support Office for Luzon A Cluster approved the award of the construction of said warehouses to CAMIA Construction Development Corporation.
These will beconstructed at Calafug, Conner, (P9,853,902.29); Kalyat, Lenneng, Kabugao (P11,364,693.19); Panay in Sta. Marcela, (P10,742,850.16); Poblacion East, Flora (P10,971,360.32); San Gregorio, Luna(P10,871,606.80); Tanglagan, Calanasan (P10,644,018.78), with a total aggregate amount of P74,634.817.55.
The warehouses are seen to reduce losses and product deterioration due to spoilage, maintain the quality of grains and crops, arrive at higher value/buying price thereby increasing the income of the farmers as well as to increase viability of agricultural products in the province.
Meanwhile, the proponents from the municipality of Kabugao claim that the establishment of warehouses will further increase the availability of the commodities by saving for future needs of the community during lean months and during calamities as well as to safeguard oneself from the fear of panic buying.
They added that the existence of warehouses shall balance the supply and demand of crops in the municipality and to increase the quality of stored commodities.
The said warehouses are among the "stand-alone” subprojects forwarded to the PRDP for funding which does not have to be based on the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan.
These projects are responsive to the platform of the government through the PRDP to establish a modern, climate-smart and market oriented agri-fishery sector while partnering with local government units and private sector in providing key infrastructures, facilities and the like that will boost income, productivity and competitiveness in the countryside. (pia/Ma Isabel Zabala- InfoACE RPCO CAR)