Tuesday, July 13, 2010

OPA Negros Occidental builds tramlines for fast transport of agri products

By Vishia Mae Tolcidas
RACG Representative
FITS OPA Negros Occidental

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Negros Occidental is speeding up the construction of agricultural tramlines in seven sites in the province to make transport of farmers’ products easy, fast and cheap.

“Tramlines, or what locals call ‘cable car’, are constructed in valleys or low-lying areas were road construction is almost impossible. These are important vehicles for farmers in the mountains to bring produce to the nearest roads,” said Provincial Agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan.

These structures, worth almost P14 million, are being funded by the Philippine Center for Post-Harvest Development and Mechanization (PhMech), formerly Bureau of Post-Harvest Research and Extension (BPRE) of the Department of Agriculture.

The tramlines in Barangay Cabatangan, Talisay City (370 meters) and Sitio Tabadiang, Barangay Minoyan, Murcia (470 meters) will be completed by end of July, said Engr. Jose Albert Barrogo of the OPA Agricultural Engineering Division. Construction of tramlines in Sitio Kapaklan, Barangay Kapitan Ramon, Silay City (880 meters) and Barangay Tagukon, Kabankalan City (340 meters) is ongoing.

More structures will be constructed in three sites this year. These will be in Sitio Bais, Barangay Yubo (650 meters) and Sitio Nailab, Barangay Ara-al (900 meters), both in La Carlota City. The structure that will connect Codcod and Kinabong in Don Salvador Benedicto has the longest distance of 1.76 kilometers.

“With tramlines in the Negros countryside, we will see a more developed highland farming. It will serve 2,000 to 8,000 farmers planting high-value commercial crops in 2,000 to 4,000 hectares of production areas,” said Tabianan. It will also increase farmers’ income by 8 to 15 percent due to less hauling cost of farm input and harvest output. Product quality will improve and post-harvest losses will decrease by 2 to 5 percent.

The tramline has an engine assembly, engine house, towers and anchorage, cables and accessories, a waiting shed, and a carrier measuring 1.5 meters long, 0.8 meters wide and 0.7 meters tall with an allowable capacity of 350 kilograms.

“Tramlines will be turned over to the barangays for operation and maintenance after OPA organizes farmers in the sites and after PhMech transfers the technology,” Barrogo said.

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