Rio Verde: drop in rice yield not our mak­ing

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page -

The Rio Verde Wa­ter Con­sor­tium has de­nied in­volve­ment on the re­ported drop in rice pro­duc­tion in Baun­gon town as al­leged by Lawyer Ernie Palanan, spokesman of a farm­ers group in Bukid­non.

In a state­ment, Rio Verde man­age­ment ques­tioned the mo­tive of Palanan, say­ing the ac­cu­sa­tions are base­less, dis­torted and ma­li­ciously taken out of con­text.

In a news re­port, Palanan blamed the Na­tional Ir­ri­ga­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion-10 and Rio Verde for the fail­ure of ir­ri­ga­tion services to sus­tain rice farm­ing in Baun­gon, Bukid­non.

Rio Verde said that its con­tract

with NIA has long been con­cluded in De­cem­ber 31, 2017. It fur­ther pointed out that from the start of the agree­ment in 2013, there was no re­ported short­age of wa­ter pro­vided by NIA to the farm­ers.

“To put the blame on Rio Verde on the al­leged rice pro­duc­tion short­age in Bukid­non is un­founded with ma­li­cious in­tent,” the state­ment said.

Ac­cord­ing to Rio Verde, it buys only 1,667 cu­bic me­ters of wa­ter per day from NIA at 17 cen­tavos per cu­bic me­ter. The vol­ume of wa­ter flow­ing in the Bubunawan river is 79,200 cu­bic me­ter per hour.

“Rio Verde is only ex­tract­ing two per­cent of the avail­able wa­ter flow­ing along the Bubunawan river,” it says.

But Palanan for his part, main­tained that the farm­ers’ com­plaint is ver­i­fied.

“I’m just a mes­sen­ger rep­re­sent­ing my farmer neigh­bors, be­cause I also live in Baun­gon. They al­ways say that there are no ac­tual com­plaints filed against them but NIA should go to the area and ask the farm­ers them­selves,” he said.

“They want to pro­ject that it was taken out of con­text but the ac­tual in­ter­views of farm­ers say oth­er­wise,” he said.

Palanan said he feel obliged to re­port the plight of the farm­ers who were promised by this ad­min­is­tra­tion that rice pro­duc­tion shall in­crease and ir­ri­ga­tion shall be free of charge. (PJ Orias)

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