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PIA Press Release

NIA steps up campaign to mitigate El Nino

by PS Mabaquiao

San Jose, Antique (23 February) -- The National Irrigation Administration stepped up its campaign to mitigate the ill effects of long dry spell by conducting weekly monitoring of farmlands particularly covered by irrigation systems.

Engr. Julito Pamiroyan, Senior Irrigators Development Officer said that NIA is undergoing monitoring to ensure that water distribution schedule of irrigations systems were followed and water be efficiently used by farmers.

Of the latest monitoring, 1,225 hectares were reported damaged due to El Niņo, 600 of which are being served by the communal irrigation systems while 625 hectares were under the Sibalom-San Jose Irrigation System.

Grace Aquillo, Personnel Officer, NIA said that aside from damaged areas, about 2,555 hectares were declared affected while 3,562 hectares were considered vulnerable areas for El Niņo.

"Most farmlands are planted with rice on vegetative stage. Limited supply of irrigation water and too much exposure to heat can cause destruction of crops. Food production of the province will eventually decline", said Pamiroyan.

NIA has been doing its best to repair irrigation facilities to ensure that water flows directly and efficiently to farmlands. Despite destruction brought about by calamities in the previous years, water shortage due to El Niņo can ultimately affect food production.

On the other hand, there are areas near the water source of irrigation systems that continue to avail sufficient supply of water for this third cropping season. "We hope these areas can augment attainment of palay sufficiency target of the province," said the source.

Pamiroyan encouraged the farmers to be cooperative by efficiently using irrigation water and following the water distribution schedule to avoid conflict among end users. (PIA) [top]

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