MALAYBALAY City, Bukidnon–Rice farmers belonging to the Maranhog Farmers Small Water Irrigation System Association (SWISA) were recently recepient to the P9.2 million worth of diversion dam of the Department of Agriculture–Regional Field Office in Region 10.
DA-RFO 10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado turned over the project to the project-recipients through Malaybalay City Vice Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran and Maranhog Farmers SWISA President Dionesio C. Caonan last September 4.
The project was in line with the agency’s goal of attaining food security and sufficiency.
Funded under the Rice Program, the project aims to irrigate the 50-hectare target service area of the 35-membered farmers association cultivating rice.
For the past years, the association has encountered challenges on water supply availability. With this Diversion Dam, however, rice farmers could see an increase in their crop yield for each cropping period.
“We used to harvest only 12 to 15 sacks of rice in a cropping season. With the diversion dam, we are expecting to harvest around 40 to 50 bags,” Caonan explained.
He further conveyed the association’s interest in availing more projects from DA, especially in acquiring a rice transplanter, considering the high cost of labor in their locality.
RED Collado responded that the SWISA can request additional agri-interventions such as farm machinery and equipment units, as long as they are accredited with the DA.
“Once the farmers’ group is validated, a team of engineers from DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization will visit [your area] and assess what type of assistance is appropriate for your planting and harvesting requirements,” Collado said.
He further shared that each association is entitled to a package of farm machinery and equipment units amounting to about P5.5 million provided the group has complied with all the requirements and passed the validation.
On the other hand, Malaybalay City Vice-Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran challenged them to sustain the project, which will be instrumental in improving the lives of farmers.
The turnover was also graced by DA-RFO 10’s Bukidnon Provincial Operations Center Head, Dr. Janet D. Lopez, representatives of various irrigators associations of Malaybalay City, and Remedios R. Sarzuelo, Malaybalay City Agriculturist, among others. (PR)