Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Agri to wrap up 21 priority projects bared in 2006


The Agriculture department is completing 21 priority irrigation projects in line with the government's goal of food security and increasing farmers’ incomes, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) administrator Carlos Salazar said.

NIA administrator Carlos Salazar said these ongoing projects laid out in the 2006 State-of-the-Nation Address include the Banaoag pump irrigation project in Ilocos Sur; Agno River integrated irrigation project in Pangasinan; Casecnan multipurpose irrigation and power project and the Aulo small reservoir irrigation project, both in Nueva Ecija.

The other SONA-identified projects are the Addalam river irrigation project in Quirino; Libmanan-Cabusao irrigation project in Camarines Sur; Balog-Balog multipurpose project in Tarlac; Bago River irrigation system and Rehabilitation and improvement project in Negros Occidental; Bohol II irrigation project in Bohol; Help for Catubig agricultural advancement project in Northern Samar; Southern Philippines irrigation sector project for regions 6, 7 and 13; and the Dolores irrigation project in Eastern Samar; Basey irrigation project in Western Samar.

Also in the priority list of SONA-identified projects are the Balingasag irrigation project in Misamis Oriental; Talakag irrigation project in Bukidnon; Sta. Josefa pump irrigation project in Agusan del Sur; Malaig river irrigation project in Lanao del Sur; Rugnan River irrigation project also in Lanao del Sur; Kabulnan II multipurpose irrigation and power project in Sultan Kudarat; Malitubog-Maridagao irrigation project stage 2 in Maguindanao; and the small reservoir irrigation projects, which are being implemented nationwide.

So far, NIA has rehabilitated 103,568 hectares existing communal and national irrigation systems and restored 122,909 hectares since 2006 using funds it has received totalling P7.27 billion.

This year, the government has allocated P8 billion to the agency to restore facilities servicing 133,000 hectares and rehabilitate those covering 68,000 hectares.

Salazar said NIA is also implementing a three-step approach to increase irrigated areas of farmlands besides rehabilitating and restoring irrigation systems.

It involves quick turnaround program, which encourages farmers to plant three times a year or adding one more in between the regular dry and wet crops; adoption of water management practices to maximize the available water supply; and organization and development of farmer-beneficiaries to increase their capability to manage and operate irrigation systems.

Focusing on irrigation and other rural infrastructure has already yielded positive results with palay production expanding by 5.1 percent or double its average growth a year ago, Yap said.

The NIA’s rehabilitation and restoration work has allowed farmers to plant an additional 69,000 hectares of farmland or 5.7 percent more than last year. -GMANews.TV

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