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REPAIR OF ‘MARING’- HIT FARM-TO-MARKET ROADS URGED

Alongside the swift release of aid for farmers affected by Severe Tropical Storm Maring, AGRI Party-list is urging the national government to prioritize the repairs of farm-to-markets roads made impassable by the recent storm.

“As much as the farmers need financial aid in order to get back on their feet after being ravaged by Maring, they also need agricultural infrastructures to be at peak working condition for them to be able to profit from whatever produce they were able to save from the storm,” AGRI Party-list first nominee and former judge Frank Lobrigo said.

The latest figures from the DA reveal the damage and losses to agriculture brought about by the severe tropical storm has reached over P2 billion, which translates to a volume of production loss of 103,069 metric tons.

Lobrigo stressed that most farmers who are struggling to sell their produce are opting to give them away instead.

“The roads need to be repaired for buyers to regain access to these products, because the ability of these farmers to offload crops and other produce would also play a huge role in helping stabilize the prices of basic commodities in the market, particularly fruits and vegetables,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) previously said the prices of vegetables in markets in Metro Manila have already spiked due to limited supply. The province of Benguet dubbed the country’s salad bowl for being a major supplier of vegetables, has reported the destruction of vegetable crops, bananas, and strawberries.

“We need these damaged farm-to-market roads repaired as soon as possible because the shorter the travel time, the better it is for high value crops, poultry, and livestock,” Lobrigo said.

“We cannot have a repeat of what happened during the lockdown last year when the chain of getting food from the farm to the dining tables of households were disrupted. Long lines at checkpoints unnecessarily extended the travel time of high value crops, poultry, and livestock, causing the fresh produce to rot and the animals to die,” the party-list nominee added.

AGRI Party-list has previously called on the government to quickly release all available funds to help farmers and fisherfolk affected by Severe Tropical Storm Maring.

The latest figures from the DA reveal the damage and losses to agriculture brought about by the severe tropical storm has reached over P2billion, which translates to a volume of production loss of 103,069 metric tons.

Some 78,634 farmers and fishers and 86,481 hectares of agricultural areas were affected in Regions I, II, III, IV-B, V, VI, XII, and the Cordilleras. Affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, livestock, fisheries, and irrigation and agri-facilities.

AGRI Party-list has previously called on the government to quickly release all available funds to help farmers and fisherfolk affected by Severe Tropical Storm Maring.

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