Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

US-funded agri-water project helps Bicol farmers cope with El Niño

LEGAZPI CITY, Sept. 14 (PIA) – To help Bicol farmers produce and maintain their crops amidst impact of El Niño on availability of water supply, the Bicol Agri-Water Project (BAWP) has initially set up supplemental irrigation water sources in the region.

Department of Agrarian (DA) Bicol Director Abelardo Bragas said the small scale irrigation systems installed in Camarines Sur and Albay are climate risk management technologies serving as supplemental irrigation water sources for forty-one BAWP farmer-beneficiaries.

With these systems, farmers can produce crops even during the onslaught of El Niño.

For Buhi and Nabua in Camarines Sur, shallow tube wells (STWs) were Small Farm Reservoirs (SFR) were put up in Polangui Albay.

Based on BAWP monitoring date, the STWs installed in barangay Iraya in Buhi irrigated 15.5 hectares of land producing an average of 11.61% increase in yield of 12 farmer beneficiaries recorded during the wet season in 2015 as compared to the same season of the previous year.

Likewise, the STWs in Nabua irrigated 6.5 hectares of land in barangay San Esteban with eight farmer-beneficiaries and 5.45 hectares in barangay San Roque-Madawon with 16 farmer-beneficiaries.

Bragas said increase in yield in both barangays were similarly observed at 9.67% and 9.23%, respectively.

Meanwhile, the collected and stored water from the Small Farm Reservoirs (SFRs) at barangays La Medalla and Kinuartelan, Polangui, Albay were used to irrigate 4.3 hectares of rice fields.

The average yield of five farmers benefitting from it increased by two cavans of palay per hectare equivalent to a P1,300.00 monetary increase per hectare.

Bragas bared that the project applied 50 kilograms of chicken dung to the SFR to reduce the amount of water seepage. The organic material covers the bottom of the SFR by sealing it with manure, thus blocking soil pores and producing secondary biological clogging later on due to slime-forming organisms.

To maintain the SFRs’ working conditions and to minimize soil erosion along the reservoir, the Municipal Agricultural Services Office of Polangui, Albay facilitated the construction of slope protection facility on February 3 - 15, 2016.

BAWP is a grant project funded by the U.S. Embassy's United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the UP Los Banos Foundation, Inc. (UPLBFI) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office V (DA-RFO V).

BAWP is further supported by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society-Columbia University (IRI-CU), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Central Bicol State University of Agriculture and Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry.(MAL/SAA/DA5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571473838020/us-funded-agri-water-project-helps-bicol-farmers-cope-with-el-ni-o#sthash.XkrkAHQ4.dpuf

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