IDLE MOUN­TAIN­OUS AREA INTO A PRO­DUC­TIVE FARM

Agriculture - - Idle Land Transformed -

WITH HOPE and de­ter­mi­na­tion, a 47year-old farmer was able to con­vert an idle moun­tain­ous area of a si­tio of Batalyon in Barangay Kil­ing, Al­fonso Lista in the prov­ince of Ifu­gao into a very pro­duc­tive agri­cul­tural land. It’s easy to see why others would likely re­ject the site where Roberto Lopez Jr. de­vel­oped his farm; it is very re­mote and one has to travel about seven kilo­me­ters of un­charted land just to reach it.

From the town of Roxas in Is­abela, Lopez and this writer started to travel via a barangay road us­ing his old but re­li­able pickup truck.

At first it was a smooth jour­ney, travers­ing some two kilo­me­ters of con­creted barangay road.

But ap­pre­hen­sion be­gan to set in as the ve­hi­cle started to as­cend the moun­tain­ous area through a rough trail which Lopez said was carved out from the moun­tain­side. One false move, and the pickup truck would plunge into a deep ravine as the one-way trail was just wide enough for a small ve­hi­cle to pass.

Along the way, one is likely to won­der why Lopez chose to de­velop a very re­mote site into an agri­cul­tural site, when the sur­round­ing ar­eas re­main un­pro­duc­tive and only wild grass abounds in the moun­tains.

Upon reach­ing Lopez’s farm, which spans over three hectares, one is sure to for­get all ap­pre­hen­sions and the hard­ships of trav­el­ling along a rough moun­tain trail as it is like see­ing an oa­sis in the mid­dle of the desert. It is an

Orig­i­nally a bare moun­tauin, this is what the farm of Roberto Lopez Jr. now looks like – full of veg­e­ta­tion.

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