Agribusiness areas in Region 12 to have more roads

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/25 July) – More emerging agribusiness areas in Region 12 will have access to major markets in the next two years through a road access convergence program of the national government.

Ethel Laksmi Gumana, industry development division chief of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Region 12, said Wednesday around P1.079 billion worth of road projects connecting various agribusiness areas are currently being implemented in parts of the region.

She said these projects are under the DTI and Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) Road Leveraging Linkages of Industry and Trade (ROLL-IT) program.

These comprise 20 road concreting improvement projects that were approved by the two agencies for funding and implementation this year, she said.

Gumana said 10 of the projects worth P484.4 million are situated in the first and second districts of North Cotabato, five worth P205 million in the first and second districts in South Cotabato, four worth P290 million in the first and second districts Sultan Kudarat and one worth P100 million in Sarangani.

In North Cotabato, the road projects were in support to the rubber, palm oil and coconut industries in Aleosan town; coco husk processing plants, rubber and banana industries in Kidapawan City; rubber sheet processing in Matalam; rubber processing center in Carmen; coconut processing industry in Banisilan; and, palm oil and banana industries in Tulunan.

The projects in South Cotabato’s first district were in support to the agribusiness and tourism industries in this city and Polomolok town and the high-value crops plantation areas in Tampakan.

In the second district, the projects were intended to boost the coffee, cacao, peanut and corn plantation and processing areas in Sto. Nino and Lake Sebu as well as the coffee and cacao processing areas in Tupi.

In Sultan Kudarat, the implemented road projects were seen to improve access to major markets of the bamboo and coffee producers in Lebak; banana and palm oil industries in Tacurong City; pineapple, coffee, rubber, corn and muscovado processing plants in Bagumbayan; and, various agri-based industries in President Quirino.

The road concreting project in Sarangani was expected to help expand the agro-industries in Malungon town.

The ROLL-IT program, which was launched in November 2016, focuses on the implementation of “industry developing infrastructure projects in priority economic and manufacturing zones.”

Gumana said it covers roads that will facilitate the transport of “processed agricultural products or unprocessed products that will undergo processing.”

For 2019, she said 48 more proposed road projects worth P9.44 billion have been shortlisted by the regional technical working group of DTI and the DPWH.

She said 17 of these are in North Cotabato, nine each in South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, seven in Sarangani and three each in the cities of Cotabato and General Santos. (MindaNews)