THREE COMMUNAL irrigation systems in the two Agusan provinces, which would cover about 500 hectares (ha) and benefit about 2,700 households, has received funding under the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).
One of projects, the rehabilitation of the Culit irrigation system in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, has been completed and was turned over to the Culit-Kinabjangan Irrigators Association last month.
The P33.957 million rehabilitation work is expected to boost rice production in the town, benefitting 140 farmer households.
In a press statement from the PRDP, Pausto Empanado Jr., president of the irrigators association, said prior to the improved system, they were relying only on canals to funnel water to parts of their rice farms.
He said they will now have 100 ha covered from just about 20 ha of irrigated areas.
“Now that the irrigation is completed, we want to utilize the potential service area of the project. We will prohibit the animals to stay and lay down in the irrigation canals. This is also our way of preserving the project,” Mr. Empanado said.
Nasipit Mayor Enrico R. Corvera said the municipal government pursued the implementation of the project because it will benefit not just the farmers but the economy of the whole town.
“This project required us a big amount as a counterpart, but the local government is confident that this will result in an increase in local revenue,” said Mr. Corvera.
Under the PRDP, a World Bank loan program implemented by the Department of Agriculture, a tenth of the project cost is shouldered by the local government unit that submits the proposal.
The World Bank covers 80% of the cost and the rest by the national government as counterpart fund.
Work on another irrigation project, located in the town of Rosario, Agusan del Sur is ongoing.
The project cost is about P50.46 million and will benefit about 1,600 farmers. Once completed, it will cover about 4.76 kilometers of canals and would irrigate about 300 ha.
The third irrigation project is in San Luis, Agusan del Sur and the plan has just been finalized.
It will cost P21 million, covering about 110 ha and benefit about 700 households. — Carmelito Q. Francisco