DA targets to put up more ATS in WV

department-of-agriculture-logo (1)The Department of Agriculture (DA) will be putting up more agricultural tramline systems (ATS) in villages in Western Visayas for eco-tourism development.

An ATS is a hauling facility that uses cables and pulleys to transport agricultural produce from remote farms to the nearest road and agricultural input from road to inaccessible farms.

Presently, Region 6 has 14 units out of 129 tramline projects all over the country since the construction started in 2011.

The latest tramline project worth Php 2.9 million is in Brgy. San Antonio, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo that was turned over by DA Secretary Proceso Alcala and Philippine of Post-Harvest Development and Mechanization (PHilMech) director Rex Bingabing to 50 farmer beneficiaries.

Other units are in Brgy. Tagukon, Kabankalan; Brgy. Minuyan, Murcia and Cabatangan, Talisay City, all in Negros Occidental. Also, other projects are in Brgy. Igbure, Patnongon, Antique; Brgy. Alimono, Passi City and Alimodian in Iloilo province.

Bingabing said Region 6 has been a beneficiary of this project since 2005. He added that each tramline is worth Php 1.5 million.

Meanwhile, DA-6 director Larry Nacionales said the project is one of the mechanization interventions of the department which aims to reduce drudgery, hauling cost and intensive labor, speed up hauling time in order for the products to reach the market as well as increase the farmers’ income.

Nacionales added that to make the project more effective, the project and management is being turned over to the farmer’s association or to LGU to help them generate income. He stressed that the hauling fee is imposed at a minimal cost which is fifty centavos per kilogram of farmer’s agricultural inputs or it depends to the association or LGU.

To avail of the project, a farmer’s organization or LGU can send intent letter to PHilMech through the department.

The technical team from PHilMech will validate the area and if it meets the criteria and sees that it is feasible for the implementation of the ATS, the request will then be forwarded to the DA for funding. IMT