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Two further small water impoundment projects have been announced by the DA.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) launched two more small water impounding projects (SWIPs) in Balungao, Pangasinan on Thursday, which will serve 132 hectares of food-producing areas in Barangays Esmeralda and Poblacion.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar presided over the inauguration of Cabaroan Farmers’ Association’s PHP13-million SWIP in Esmeralda and Poblacion Irrigators’ Association’s PHP23.8-million SWIP in Poblacion.

The projects will not only meet the water demands of Balungao farmers, but they will also provide additional livelihood opportunities to people, thanks to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ delivery of 15,000 tilapia fingerlings (BFAR).

Dar also presented the San Aurelio First Farmers’ Association with a certificate of turnover from the recently launched PHP12.8 SWIP.

He asked the Pangasinan province government and the local government of Balungao to continue working with DA “to guarantee that all agri-fishery programs are executed at the grassroots.”

“We should always coordinate our efforts – co-implement, co-monitor,” Dar remarked.

Dar also gave the PHP24 million SWIP to the Arapaap Small Water Irrigation System Association (SWISA) in Allacapan, Cagayan, in September 2020.

The SWIP will assist 75 farmer-beneficiaries with a service area of 100 hectares, making it one of the largest of its kind in the Cagayan Valley region.

The SWIP is a structure built across a small dip or valley to hold back water and create a reservoir that will collect rainfall and runoff for immediate or future use during the rainy season.

Small water impounding projects are earthen dams with a structural height of fewer than 30 meters and volume storage of less than 50 million cubic meters, according to the Small Water Impounding Management Committee (SWIM), which was originally led by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

According to the Agriculture and Fishery Modernization Act of 1997 (AFMA), the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) is in charge of providing technical assistance to dams with a height of 15 meters or less.

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