P12.5M irrigation project benefits 320 farmers in Davao Sur town

DAVAO CITY, Jan. 23 (PNA) –The completion of an irrigation project in Bansalan, Davao del Sur costing P12.5 million has improved the rice production of at least 320 farmers.

The farmers attributed the increase in their yield with the adequate irrigation facility said Rolano Calisay, member and officer of the BADOMA Irrigators Association with areas covering barangays Barayong, Dolo and Marber in Bansalan town.

Calisay sad with the irrigation facility harvest is up to eight tons of rice compared to the previous yield of 5.5 tons.

“With the facility, farming is less laborious as they need not wake up at dawn and leave late in the evening just to supply sufficient water t our farms,” he said.

MRDP information and advocacy specialist Jay Rosas said the irrigation project under the Department of Agriculture’s Mindanao Rural Development Program (DA-MRDP) covers 405 hectares benefitting 320 farmer-beneficiaries of Bansalan.

Meanwhile, MRDP Program Director Lealyn Ramos said water is critical to rice production and irrigation plays a key role in attaining the government’s goal of rice sufficiency for the next three years.

As of December 2013, she said around 12 irrigation sub-projects amounting to P108.2 million have been completed covering 2,142 hectares with ten projects covering additional 3,745 hectares ongoing.

Farm-to-market roads comprise the bulk of rural infrastructure (RI) subprojects consisting of 253 completed and 106 ongoing subprojects. MRDP is implementing a total of 478 RI subprojects with a total of Php 4.5 billion including the construction of FMRs, bridges, water supply systems, irrigation and other rural infrastructure.

Ramos added that the irrigation facilities are priority interventions along with other RI sub-projects and post-harvest facilities to improve income and productivity of the farmers.

Isabel Camocamo, Davao del Sur provincial planning and development officer, said the irrigation facility also supplied water to additional 45 hectares aside from irrigating the existing farm areas.

She added that through the partnership with MRDP, they have improved their own monitoring systems particularly in project implementation. The province provided equity counterpart fund, she added.

Because of the strict adherence to compliance measures, she said that their bidding process improved as well a d at the same time building the capacity of their technical staff.

The BADOMA IA allotted 25 percent of total gross income of their association for the maintenance of the irrigation lining.

The association also came up with a resolution for the said allotment to ensure the project’s sustainability, aside from consistently monitoring its condition, “so the community continues to benefit from it. (PNA)