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NIA opens P134-M irrigation system

The National Irrigation Administration has opened the new P134-million irrigation system in Iloilo City in line with the government’s effort to cover more agricultural areas nationwide.

The P133.85-million Sta. Barbara River irrigation system in Iloilo City will irrigate 2,289 hectares of agricultural land.

This is expected to benefit 1,226 farmers in four municipalities in the city and improve the cropping intensity from 162 to 200 percent, thus increasing the farmers’ yield from 99 to 110 cavans per hectare for the wet season and 80 to 100 cavans per hectare for the dry season.

It is under the national irrigation sector rehabilitation and improvement project which is funded by a grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The irrigation system, whose water sources come from the Sta. Barbara River, includes the construction of of 12.1 kilometers of concrete canal lining, repair of 65 units of related structure, and replacement of 113 units of new steel gates, and 7.6 kilometers of gravel surfacing, among others.

JICA Philippines senior representative Yo Ebisawa said the project would pave the way for higher rice productivity and boost the  income of Filipino farmers.

“Filipino farmers remain among the Philippines’ poorest sectors with poverty incidence of as much as 34.3 percent. With this project, we hope our farmers will improve and sustain their productivity and income,” Ebisawa said.

NIA, as the lead government agency mandated to develop all possible sources of water for irrigation, continues to provide efficient, reliable, and sustainable irrigation service to farmers through the construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance of irrigation systems nationwide.