TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture regional office and the Samar provincial government will be embarking on the construction of a 10-kilometer farm to market road (FMR) that will traverse three towns of the province and is seen to help marginalized farmers in the municipalities. 

Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan said the improvement and concreting of the road that will cost PHP 129 million was approved for implementation under the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP), a program that aims to establish a modern, value-chain oriented, and climate resilient agriculture and fisheries sector. 

PRDP is jointly funded by the World Bank, the national government and the local government units (LGUs). PRDP partners with the LGUs and the private sector in providing key infrastructure, facilities, technology, and information that will raise incomes, productivity, and competitiveness in the countryside.

The PRDP funded FMR will improve the present access road from Brgy. Hinugacan of Gandara town to Brgy. Villahermosa Oriental in Pagsanghan. The farm to market road has a total length of 9.9281 kilometers with 5m width, and .20m thickness and it will traverse the towns of Gandara, Tarangnan and Pagsanghan and will benefit 9,608 population, mostly marginalized farmers.

Under a cost sharing scheme, the World Bank will contribute PHP 103,231,200 while the national government will share PHP 12,903,900. Finally, the provincial government will provide its equity share that matches the amount of the national government.

The three towns are known to produce rice, corn, vegetables, sweet potato, cassava, taro, banana and coconut, among others.

Tan said once the project is completed, the road will not only make it easier for the farmers to bring their harvest to the market at a less transportation cost but is expected to also bring down the prices of fertilizers and other farm inputs. Tan said aside from helping the marginalized farmers, the FMR will also help improve the economic condition of the municipalities and the Samar province. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail October 31-November 6, 2022 issue)