By Mike U. Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – The Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC) approved for endorsement to the RDC the Department of Agriculture – Caraga P445 million worth of 28 farm-to-market road (FMR) projects all
over the region this year.

The said FMRs are “For Later Release (FLR)” or the targets under DBM-evaluated Budget Execution Documents (BEDs) for FY 2020 prepared and submitted by the agencies through the Unified Reporting System (URS).

The FLR’s total budget is based on the proposed FMR projects from the local government units. Agusan del Norte has the biggest allocation of P203,000 or equivalent to 10 FMR projects to
be established to the identified areas of the province.

“These projects will be implemented in rural areas across the region as part of DA’s agenda to develop and improve logistics and the movement of goods for the agriculture sector,” said Engr.
Rene Morales, Chief of Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED).

The FMR project is under the Farm-to-Market Road Development Program (FMRDP)that aims to support farmers in rural communities. The Program requires the development of infrastructure support services including the rehabilitation of existing and the construction of new rural roads.

In 2019, the dispense of intervention in the region through FMRDP amounted to a total of P378 million equivalent to 23.12 km of ongoing and completed FMRs which covers an approximate
of 11,500 hectares of influence area planted with various crops. It also records a total beneficiary of 5,385 farmers and fishers and generated jobs to 276 individuals.

This project will also allow the food producers to easily bring their produce to the market or in trading areas where they may achieve maximum profit from their production.

Morales said that DA is in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) being the government agency designated as the engineering and construction arm
responsible for the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure facilities.

The project is in line with the new thinking approach for agriculture introduced by Agriculture Secretary William Dar to level-up productivity and income in the agriculture sector.