DA urges Bacolod farmers to conserve irrigation water
Bacolod City (12 February) -- Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary Bernie Fondevilla said that while water in irrigation facilities and dams remain adequate, it is better to conserve this precious commodity while the country is experiencing the impact of the El Niņo dry spell on the agriculture and fisheries sector.
Fondevilla said the DA will coordinate with local government units (LGUs) so it can maximize the use of irrigation water by scheduling or synchronizing its release in El Niņo affected farms.
In Negros Occidental, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has agreed to delay the closure of the Bago Irrigation System, noting that the 6,000 hectares of rice in its coverage are now in its reproductive stage would cost about P2.8 billion on harvest, OPA chief, Igmedio Tabianan said.
NIA regional director Edilberto Domingo said closure of the irrigation system will not take place at the end of this month but in April to ensure the survival of the rice on the 6,000 hectares.
PAGASA identified the province of Negros Occidental as one of the 23 ?highly vulnerable? areas in the country.
As early as December 2009, the DA had already created its own task force to carry out programs to raise crop production along with farmers' incomes in the face of the then-looming El Niņo attack. (PIA/cad) [top]