By Zaldy Commanda
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The National Irrigation Administration-Cordillera reported the completion 229 irrigation projects providing water to farmlands in the region.
NIA Cordillera acting regional director Benito Espique Jr., in his report said as of March 15, 2018 a total of 1,197 hectares were new irrigation areas while 521 hectares of existing irrigation systems were restored bringing to 1,115 hectares of new functional irrigations in the region with a total cost of P823,484 million.
He said Benguet and Kalinga provinces completed the most number of irrigation projects with 80 and 73, respectively, followed by Mt. Province with 35, Ifugao 19, Abra 16 and Apayao 6.
The completed irrigation projects include a component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and rehabilitation projects under the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC).
Espique said that with increased NIA-CAR budget this year, a total of 2,823 hectares of farmland will irrigate and restore and rehabilitate 407 hectares of existing irrigation facilities.
He said Kalinga province has 44,190 hectares of potential irrigable area; Benguet, 25,746 hectares; Mt. Province, 30,060 hectares; Ifugao, 25,830 hectares; Abra, 25,670 hectares; and Apayao, 33,910 hectares.
The agency had strengthened its partnership with the farmers groups and various irrigators associations in the region through training and assistance for irrigations systems aimed at increasing production.