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PIA Press Release

NIA completes irrigation projects in western Mt. Province

by Andrew Doga-ong

BONTOC, Mt. Province (7 September) -- Food production is expected to increase in the two eastern towns of Natonin and Paracelis with the implementation of multi-million worth of irrigation projects.

The Tuboy Communal Irrigation Project (CIP) located at barangay Banawel, Natonin is the latest major irrigation projects completed and recently turned over to its beneficiaries, the Tuboy-Banawel Irrigator's Association.

The Mt. Province Provincial Irrigation Office (MPPIO) records show that the Tuboy CIP will irrigate some 174 hectares benefiting 53 farmers and 500 farm labor. It is funded by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under its Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP).

Implemented by MPPIO through the participatory approach, the irrigation project made use of diversion works, canalization of more than five kilometers long and various canal structures. The irrigation project was able to generate jobs for about 320 during its implementation.

Paracelis, the promise land and the expected rice granary of Mt. Province is also a recipient of big irrigation projects such as the Paracelis Poblacion and Butique Dannal CIPs irrigating hundred of hectares of ricelands. Both irrigation projects were funded from various sources to include the DAR's Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, ARISP and from the regular funds of the National Irrigation Administration.

In an effort to provide irrigation systems to farmlands in other Paracelis barangays not covered by the existing irrigation facilities, MPPIO submitted to NIA higher ups a feasibility study for the construction of the Butigue-Bananao Small River Irrigation Project (SRIP).

Included in the SRIP are participative watershed development and the construction of road networks to provide easy access during construction and the delivery of farm products to the market.

The Butigue-Bananao SRIP, if implemented will irrigate some 1,830 hectares to benefit 1,013 farmers in barangays Bananao, Butigue, Palitud, Anonat and farm lands of neighboring barangays that the irrigation system traverse.

Ferdinand Pancho of the MPPIO said the presence of irrigation facilities will enable farmers to develop more and widen their rice farms and plant rice two times a year instead of only one cropping during the rainy season.

Supporting NIA's slogan, "Magsasaka Muna," President Gloria Arroyo said the government allocated P8 Billion for irrigation projects in the 2008 national budget of which P3.4 Billion will be given to NIA to rehabilitate existing irrigation systems. (PIA-MP) [top]

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