Quirino farmers’ produce now safe from rotting
The Department of Agrarian Reform has turned over to a farmers’ cooperative in Quirino a P1.7-million post-harvest facility to help keep their harvests from rotting and cut their losses.
DAR Undersecretary for Foreign Assisted and Special Projects Herman Ongkiko said the facility consisted of a 72-square meter warehouse and a 202-square meter solar dryer.
Ongkiko said crop used to rot because farmers stored their harvests under their houses and in makeshift barns, which eventually get wet during the rainy season.
He said animals also eat the crops before they are sold.
DAR Regional Director Marjorie Ayson said the warehouse and the solar dryer will enable farmers to dry their newly harvested rice and corn first before storing them.
Ayson said rice and corn could also be stored longer while waiting for fair market price.
“Well-dried rice and corn command better price than newly harvested ones. With this solar dryer, they can now fetch a good price for their crops,” he said.
Ayson said the facility will benefit 192 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and 31 non-ARBs of the Quirino farmers cooperative.
Thirty percent of the P1.7-million facility cost was shouldered by the province and the rest was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.