BACOLOD City – It used to take farmers in the upland village of Patag in Silay City, Negros Occidental almost half a day of walking to bring their produce to the market.
And if they had to use a tramline, they operated it manually.
“Before, it was really difficult for us. We used ropes, and we had to transport many products,” said Rosario Villarenia, chairman of Patag United Organic Farmers Association.
On Tuesday, that became a thing of the past with the inauguration of the Kuyong Agricultural Tramline Project funded by the provincial government.
Through the 320-linear meter tramline, with a total project cost of P3.995 million, each trip takes only one and a half minutes.
Traversing the Kuyong Creek at an elevation of 80 meters, the tramline can carry up to 350 kilograms of farm products with a potential service area of 40 hectares planted with high-value crops. It has landing pads, waiting shed, carriage, and runs on an 80-HP diesel engine.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who led the unveiling of the project, told the farmers to make good use of the facility entrusted to them.
“Use it for its main purpose and take care of its maintenance. It will be a big help to your livelihood,” he added.
The tramline will be used to transport farm produce like coffee, cacao, bamboo, coconut, rambutan, marang, bananas, sweet potato, tomato, corn, eggplant, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, and radish.
By using the two-way tramline system, farmers can reduce travel time and cost of hauling farm inputs and produce as well as enhance the cultivation of the remaining potential area and reduce post-harvest losses.
Provincial agriculturist Japhet Masculino said the tramline project has been five years in the making.
“The dream was realized through the partnership between the farmers’ cooperative, city government, and the provincial government,” he added.
Moreover, Villarenia thanked the provincial officials and the personnel of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist for the project and vowed to take good care of it.
The project inauguration was also attended by vice governor Jeffrey Ferrer, Silay City mayor Mark Golez, board members Andrew Montelibano and Ernesto Bascon with Patag village chief Nonilon Banguanga. (With a report from PNA/PN)