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DA targets farm-to-market road completion in 5 years

DAVAO CITY (PIA) – The Department of Agriculture is eyeing to develop farm-to-market roads using a loan secured from China.

The country is negotiating a $6.4 billion loan from the People’s Republic of China (PROC), about $1.5 billion of that loan will be for agriculture which will be allocated for the completion of farm-to-market roads, small irrigation projects and post-harvest facilities.

DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that P40-billion of that agri- loan will be used to complete all the farm-to-market roads in the country estimated to be about 2,000 kilometers.

Piñol said these roads will be concrete, all-weather roads.

“These are not dirt roads, we no longer build roads like that anymore,” said Piñol. “The roads must connect production area to the market or has a potential to become a food production area.”

The loan will be a long term facility 25 to 30 years to pay at around 1 to 2 percent.

The agriculture secretary said that he intends to finish these projects within five years or before the term of President Duterte ends.

Aside from the Chinese loan, the Philippines has an existing loan with the World Bank for its Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) which a part of the loan is to build farm-to-market roads in the countryside.