Boosting Food Security for Farmers: MAFAR-PRDP hands over Farm-to-Market Road Project to MLGU of Lugus

SULU – In a move to a food-secure Bangsamoro, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform – Philippine Rural Development Project (MAFAR-PRDP) officially handed over the 8.36km Farm-to-Market Road project to Municipal Local Government Units of Lugus, Province of Sulu on Thursday, March 16, 2023.

Funded by the World Bank, the project has a total cost of Php. 138,896,888.60 covers 2,787 hectares covering the Barangays of Parian Kayawan, Pait, Rugusan-Kutah, Parang, and Mantan. Most of the inhabitants in these barangays are seaweed farmers primarily engaged in agricultural production such as coconut, cassava, and assorted vegetables.

The MLGU of Lugus proposed the FMR as part of its efforts to support agri-fishery farmers. The road intervention composed of concrete pavement with minor components of a pipe culvert with a concrete headwall, stone masonry, and road signs makes it easier for farmers to transport their products to markets.

In her message, Regional Project Coordination Office – BARMM Deputy Project Director Ammal D. Solaiman, JD, reminisces about the struggles during the project’s validation, preparation, and implementation and recognizes the collective efforts of the PRDP, LGU, and the Contractors, which enabled them to overcome the difficulties.

“I am very proud and happy that the project has been completed and finally handed over to the MLGU. Even amidst the pandemic, the project’s implementation is a testament to our community’s commitment to supporting our farmers and fisherfolks, ensuring food security for all,” said DPD Solaiman.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Mayor of Lugus, Hon. Hadar M. Hajiri, Al-Hadj, emphasized the positive impact of the FMR on boosting economic growth in their community and committed to sustaining and maintaining the road to benefit farmers in the area.

Farmers in the area expressed their gratitude for the project, saying that it would significantly reduce transportation costs and make bringing their crops to market more accessible.

“The farm-to-market road project will make a big difference for us. Before, we had to cross the sea using a pump boat to deliver our products to the market, and sometimes we used a handcart to deliver our products. It was challenging, especially during the rainy season. Now, we can transport our crops more efficiently, which will help us earn more income,” said one local farmer.

Project Suppor Office Mindanao I-BUILD Head Engr. Ma. Fe Gabonales, Rural Infra Specialist Engr. Carl Anthony Orbe, I-PLAN Specialist Elden Karl Requilme, MAFAR-SULU Provincial Director Engr. Alfie U. Iribani, RPCO-BARMM I-BUILD Specialist Engr. Michael K. Anggol, other MAFAR-PRDP team, and officials of the municipality of Lugus are present during the turnover ceremony.