Siquijor guv increases budget to aid small farmers
By Rizalie Anding Calibo
Siquijor (24 March) -- Siquijor Provincial Governor Orlando "Shane" Fua earlier announced that he has increased the province's budget allocation for agricultural productivity enhancement this year as he vowed full support during the FSTP graduation ceremony at Lazi and Enrique Villanueva towns respectively.
He said he has allocated some P2 million this year for the Gulayan sa Paaralan and Barangay projects from last year's budget of P1.5 million.
Apart from it, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) got a share of another P2 million while the Bantay Dagat program has a share of P800 thousand from last year's P600 thousand.
Congressman Orlando B. Fua, on one hand, gave another P 1 million for productivity enhancement with another P500 thousand for Bio-N production in Lazi.
This, the OPA said, forms part of the measures implemented by the province to counter the threat of El Niņo particularly on farming.
Among the projects lined up are the rehabilitation of irrigation canals in Capalasanan, Lazi with a budget allocation of P300 thousand from the province's development fund as conservative measures to maintain water source in the area that is servicing almost 60 hectares farmland.
This after seeing the need for concrete irrigation canals to prevent extreme water losses due to seepage, percolation and conveyance, says the OPA here.
Another 1.3 M irrigation project located in Sitio Candavoc, Cangmunag, San Juan which will also be implemented soon is funded from the Congressional allocation of Congressman Orlando Fua, Sr.
According to Engineers Emigdio Coritico and Jinky Wenceslao, irrigation, infrastructure and postharvest coordinators, the projects will be implemented according to the plan. The Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) and the OPA are complementing their personnel task force in assessing water resources within the province to assure that conservative measures and utilization of available water is optimized to support the farmers' needs particularly this pronounced drought period.
As noted, past El Nino episodes in the country incurred staggering losses in agriculture, fisheries and environment. Its adverse effect, that includes environmental threats like soil degradation and domestic water supply shortage, among others cause significant reduction in farm productivity and even health problems.
According to the OPA, drought damage to rice and corn, livestock and fisheries in the past years of El Nino in Siquijor province was remarkable.
"With El Nino's signal now on it's way, Siquijor province is not exempted," the OPA said. Hence, the provincial government is moving its task force and early warning among farming communities to conserve water with the onslaught of El Nino which according to DA and PAGASA reports is expected to last longer than usual. (PIA-Siquijor) [top]