Farmers told to stop drying crops on roads

LAOAG CITY — Despite warning from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), some residents who live near national and village roads still dry their palay or corn crops on the highway.

This harvest season, drying palay and corn along the highway is a common sight in Ilocos province and its neighboring provinces of Ilocos Sur, Cagayan and Isabela.

In the absence of communal solar dryers, some farmers take advantage of the weather to dry their crops along the road.

According to farmers, it is more practical to dry their crops on public roads and sell it right away to passing traders once the crops are dried up.

To avoid road accidents, DPWH officials has reiterated to farmers and traders that they should refrain from drying palay or corn along the highway.

The DPWH has widened a number of major arterial roads nationwide to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic and not to be used as solar dryers for agricultural crops.

For humanitarian reasons, drying of palay or corn during the harvest season has been allowed in previous years, said District Engineer Mathias Malenab of the Ilocos Norte Engineering District II, but such practice is now being discouraged as it poses danger to motorists.

In some parts of the province, farmers and traders even put on barricades on the highways to protect their palay or corn from being overrun by passing vehicles. Leilanie Adriano/