NIA inaugurates P170M river irrigation rehab project
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) on Monday, December 3, inaugurated the P170 million newlycompleted and improved Sta. Barbara River Irrigation System (SBRIS) in Iloilo.
Funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (NISRIP) covered the towns of Sta. Barbara, Leganes and Pavia in Iloilo province and Jaro district which is expected to benefit more than 1,200 farmers.
JICA Philippines senior representative Yo Ebisawa said the project will pave way for higher rice productivity and income of Filipino farmers “which remain to be one of the most pressing issues that Philippines agriculture is confronted with.”
“Filipino farmers, unfortunately, remain among the Philippines poorest sectors with poverty incidence as much as 34.3 percent. And with this project, we hope our farmer to improve and sustain their productivity and income,” Ebisawa said in his speech.
He assured that JICA would continue to support the agriculture sector of the Philippines.
NISRIP project manager Silvino Navarro said the project will improve average cropping intensity of farmers from 162 percent to 200 percent.
Navarro said it will also increase irrigated area from 2,239 hectares to 2,289 hectares during wet season, and from 1,465 hectares to 2,289 hectares during dry season.
The project will also increase paddy fields from 99 to 110 cavans per hectare for the wet season and 80 to 100 cavans per hectares for dry season, he added.
For his part, Administrator Ricardo Visaya of the NIA said the project will translate into an efficient operations and maintenance that will optimize the benefits derived from the irrigation system.
The newly inaugurated project is one of the 11 national irrigation systems covered by the NISRIP nationwide.