JICA-funded road extension benefits upland farmers in Nueva Ecija
Upland farmers in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija can now easily transport their products from their agroforestry farm to the nearest market through a newly-completed access road extension project.
Paquito Moreno Jr., executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Luzon, said on Monday the more than 1 kilometer access road extension in Barangay Bunga-Dilaing Bato was funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the amount of PHP17.9 million.
He said it is intended as an “agroforestry support facility” under the 10-year Forestland Management Project (FMP) in the 44,000-hectare Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed (PCW).
Moreno said the extension road will not only provide communities better accessibility and mobility to goods and services, but also help partner people’s organizations in protecting the 4,914-hectare reforested area of the Seguim Subwatershed.
“As an agroforestry support facility of our Forestland Management Project (FMP) in Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed, this infrastructure project is seen as supplementary to the local government’s efforts to provide social services, boost the local economy and guarantee food security,” he said in a statement.
The opening of the road extension was strengthened with a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the DENR and the municipal government of Carranglan, where the latter, in coordination with FMP partner Peoples’ Organization Tectona Grandis Promiseland Association, Inc., will be responsible for maintaining and operating the completed subproject.
The Bunga-Dilaing Bato access extension road project is the sixth agroforestry support facility implemented by JICA for the last two years in the PCW.
The others are the 60-meter long bridge in Sitio Pamalayan, Barangay Conversion in Pantabangan town; the eight-kilometer long Calaocan Irrigation Pipeline System, 55-meter long Calaocan hanging bridge in Barangay Burgos, 80-meter long Barat reinforced concrete bridge in Sitio Kanlungan, and seven-kilometer Dilaing Bato-Calo Mambeja access road in Barangay Padilla, all in Carranglan town.
“Apart from facilitating a greener path for our farmers and our environment, we want to help communities improve their vehicular and pedestrian mobility that lessen potential damage and transportation cost of agricultural products,” Moreno said.
Launched in 2012, the FMP is a 10-year reforestation project that aims to rehabilitate the PCW, one of the biggest protected areas in Central Luzon, and to strengthen forestland management through a collaborative community-based forest management strategy.
It integrates conservation and development-oriented activities with participation and capacity-building of local communities to rehabilitate degraded forestlands in three critical river basins, including Upper Magat and Cagayan in Region 2, Upper Pampanga in Region 3, and Jalaur in Iloilo.