Cable cars way to go for farmers, goods in 100 sites
SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ—Government scientists have improved the vegetable tramline system that helps ship upland produce to the lowlands, equipping cable cars with the capacity to ferry farmers and farm workers along with their goods.
Designed by the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) here, a new cable car network can transport four people with sacks of palay or bundles of vegetables.
Bartolome Tesorero, PhilMech tramline project leader, said PhilMech has built one cable car system in Sariaya, Quezon. He said the tramline could bring farmers and their goods to and from their farms in four minutes from 45 minutes by foot before.
The first tramline in the country was built in 1990 in Barangay Abiang in Atok, Benguet. The 980-meter cable facility was designed by the defunct Bureau of Postharvest Research and Extension (BPRE), the forerunner of PhilMech. It was financed by the Department of Agriculture and local governments.
Tesorero said a tramline is a conveyor system used for hauling agricultural products across difficult terrain. It is equipped with either a single cable (monocable) or a reinforced cable (bicable) that extends from the mountains down to a receiving station below. The cable system is harnessed to two concrete stations.
The tramlines are driven by cable powered by a diesel machine that is commonly used for public utility jeeps.
Each tramline now serving upland farms in the Cordillera and other provinces costs government up to P1.6 million. It is maintained and operated by a farmers’ organization, which charges transport fees.
Operators of this version of the tramline, however, prohibit people from riding in the cars due to safety concerns.
Tesorero said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala suggested that PhilMech design a tramline that could carry people as well.
He said PhilMech now has more than 100 units of tramlines in different parts of the country. These are mostly in mountainous areas with terrain that would be difficult to reach on ordinary vehicles.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.