P3.7-M CamNorte irrigation system to benefit farmers
By Connie Calipay
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Bicol is scheduled to turn over any time this month a P3.7-million communal irrigation system (CIS) that is expected to boost rice productivity in Paracale, Camarines Norte.
DAR Camarines Norte Agrarian Reform chief Camilo A. Del Monte said the project funded under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and implemented by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Camarines Norte Irrigation Management Office (CNIMO) will irrigate over 40 hectares of rice land.
The CIS will benefit some 60 rice farmers including agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who are members of the Batobalani Paracale Farmers Irrigators Association (BPFIA), Inc., he said.
Del Monte said the initial inspection of the diversion and canal lining works in Barangay Batobalani, Paracale town was conducted last Feb. 22.
Engr. Carol L. Rañola, CNIMO acting manager, said the facility is meant to help rice farmers in the community to get more harvest and raise their farm income.
“The irrigation facility’s construction began in May 2021 and was completed by the end of the year. The facility will be formally turned over to the farmers’ association after NIA completes its final inspection anytime this month,” Del Monte added.
Elsa E. Quimson, BPFIA president, said that with the irrigation system, they intend to add another cropping season in order to raise their average yield from 60 cavans to 80 cavans per hectare.
She also said that they willl take care of the irrigation system, which would benefit their community by providing timely and reliable irrigation service.
“We would benefit greatly from this project because one of our primary concerns is water irrigation. We had solely used rainwater to irrigate our rice fields, which resulted in a minimal yield. However, water from then Submakin River may now reach our farms because of this DAR initiative,” she said.
The CIS is part of DAR’s continued farm productivity support programs that aim to improve irrigation systems in key agrarian reform communities so that more palay (rice grains) can be cultivated. (With a report from Eliakim Neric/PNA-OJT)