Issue of November 3, 2019
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Nawal, Bokod gets 1st tramline agri project from DA PRDP
by Elvy S. Tacquio

Farm families in Barangay Nawal in Bokod, Benguet can now transport quality agricultural produce to the market hassle-free.

This is made possible by the turnover of a P4.65-million agricultural tramline from the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) and the municipal government of Bokod.

Using the tramline, farmers save on time and money for hauling expenses. The risk of accidents on the hauling of farm produce is also reduced and product quality is maintained.

Mayor Thomas Wales Jr., who led the turnover ceremony of the tramline last Oct. 18, said aside from merely concentrating on chayote and eggplant alone, they should increase their production or include other crops such as tomatoes.

“Rest assured that the municipal government will continue providing assistance in the maintenance and operation of this tramline,” he said, adding that he is thankful for the cooperation of Nawal residents.

The 450-meter tramline will benefit 112 farmers in the barangay. It is expected to serve 3,096 hectares of agricultural land area planted with rice, potato, Chinese cabbage, green onions, garden pea, and other highland vegetables that are brought and sold to the market areas in La Trinidad and Baguio City.

For sustainability, the operations of the tramline will be managed by Wakal Gardeners Organization, a registered farmers group in Nawal.

“This tramline is really a big help to us. Farmers here will no longer be stunted due to haulage of vegetable produce,” said Editha Rilay, Wakal Gardeners Organization president.

She thanked the contractor of the subproject for providing employment opportunities, let alone additional income, to the farmers in the area who were hired as laborers during the construction of the tramline.

“I am really thankful for the completion of this tramline because the distance we take in hauling farm inputs from Halsema Highway to our farm will now be reduced,” said Jimmy Pistola, a farmer-beneficiary, as he recalled how hard it was for them to carry heavy loads to and from their farm for more or less than two hours.

The existing road within the influence area is Japa-Wakal barangay road to the Halsema Highway. It is the sole access to Barangay Nawal, which is 16.85 kilometers from the municipal hall to the location of the tramline.

Pistola added that as primary users of the tramline subproject, they are willing to pay the transport cost for the maintenance and operation of the tramline.

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