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Farmers in CamNorte will benefit from a P3.7 million irrigation project.

LEGAZPI CITY, PHILIPPINES – This month, the Department of Agrarian Reform in Bicol (DAR-5) will hand over a PHP3.7 million community irrigation system (CIS) to a farmer-irrigators’ group in Camarines Norte, which is expected to enhance rice yield.

In a social media post on Wednesday, Camarines Norte Agrarian Reform chief Camilo A. Del Monte said the project, which was funded through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in collaboration with the National Irrigation Administration-Irrigation Management Office (NIA-IMO), will irrigate over 40 hectares of rice land.

He stated that it will help 60 rice farmers, including agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who are members of the Batobalani Paracale Farmers Irrigators Association, Inc.

Del Monte said the diversion and canal lining operations in Barangay Batobalani, Paracale town, were inspected for the first time on February 22.

Meanwhile, the NIA-acting IMO’s province manager, Engr. Carol L. Raola, said the facility will help rice farmers in the neighborhood get more crops and increase their agricultural income.

“Construction on the irrigation facility began in May 2021 and was finished by the end of the year. “After NIA completes its final inspection this month, the facility will be formally turned over to the farmers’ group,” the post stated.

According to Elsa E. Quimson, head of the irrigators’ association, they plan to add another cropping season with the CIS in order to increase their average production from 60 to 80 cavans per hectare.

Quimson also promised to look after the facility on behalf of their association, which would assist their neighborhood by providing timely and reliable irrigation service.

“This project would be really beneficial to us because one of our main worries is water irrigation.” We had been irrigating our rice fields only with rainwater, which resulted in a low yield. However, thanks to the DAR initiative, water from the Submakin River may now reach our lands,” she remarked.

The CIS is part of DAR’s ongoing farm productivity support projects, which aim to develop irrigation systems in major agrarian reform villages in order to plant more palay (rice grains).

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