9 March 2012
Two tramlines completed in Davao region
DAVAO CITY–Completion of the two tramlines constructed in New Bataan, Compostela Valley and DigosCity, Davao del Sur promises stronger market links for farmers here.
The tramline in New Bataan serves at least 30 hectares of farmland planted mostly with vegetables by the members of the Mandaya tribe. The facility in Digos serves 100 hectares of land tended mostly by the Mansaka tribe.
A tramline, as explained by Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) executive director Ricardo Cachuela, is an alternative transport system for farmers in areas isolated from road network becauseof ravines, rivers and dense vegetation. It is a hauling facility using cables and pulleys to transport agricultural inputs from isolated farms to the nearest road.
“This used to be a system used in the mining industry but later converted into a transport system for the farmers’ produce,” he said.
Unlike the previous tramlines constructed in the Cordilleras, this hauling facility constructed by Philmec has been developed into something that even farmers could ride on.
It reduces postharvest losses because of timely delivery of produce. Also, damage to commodities associated with manual hauling is avoided or minimized.
“Hauling done with human intervention would usually take up to four hours, but with this facility the hauling process would only take minutes, ” said Philmec chief on Agriculture Extension Dr. Rodolfo Estigoy.
Thus, it reduces hauling cost. Hauling of produce using tramline facility is cheaper than paying manual haulers. A farmer could save P10 to P15 per large basket delivered to trading posts. Postharvest losses are also reduced from 20% to 50%.
With the tramline facility, the farmers will be encouraged to develop their areas because of the relative convenience in hauling and transporting of harvested crops to the nearest road.
The hauling capacity could carry up to 2.75 tons at a cable length of 980 meters and a service area of 10 hectares.
At present, the government has already constructed 106 units of tramlines all over the country and it has scheduled 2 units for construction here in the region. (PIA)