The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is expected to break ground nearly P14-billion worth of irrigation projects nationwide in a bid to support the country’s agricultural productivity.
The latest data released by NIA showed that for the month of May to August of this year, the agency is set to conduct the groundbreaking and inaugural ceremonies of 72 irrigation projects, which will all cost P13.73 billion to build.
Out of these 72 irrigation projects, two Small Reservoir Irrigation Projects (SRIPs) were inaugurated in the last week of May. These two projects alone have a total cost of P1.523 billion.
For this month, NIA will turnover and inaugurate as many as 23 projects, with an aggregate cost of P1.22 billion.
These will be followed by 22 projects that are scheduled for inauguration in July. For these, NIA expects to spend around P3.59 billion. In August, there will be three projects, with an aggregate cost of P2.68 billion, also scheduled for inauguration.
These projects are spread out across different parts of the country, including Nueva Ecija, Bohol, Pampanga, Batangas, Cavite, Pangasinan, Quezon, Laguna, Rizal, Mindoro, and Zamboanga.
NIA Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya earlier said the agency remains committed to its mandate of developing and maintaining irrigation systems in support of the agricultural program of the government.
Two weeks ago, NIA has completed an irrigation project in Nueva Ecija that could irrigate more than 700 hectares of farmlands and benefit more than 200 families who make a living through farming.
In a previous statement, NIA said that despite the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was already able to finish the construction of the Upper Tabuating SRIP situated in Barangay Nazareth, General Tinio, Nueva Ecija.
The P878-million Upper Tabuating Small Reservoir Irrigation Project involves the construction of Earthfill Dam with a height above the lowest streambed of 25.56 meters and length of 760 meters, with a storage capacity of 4.96 million cubic meters.
The dam was able to irrigate the entirety of its target service area prior to its inauguration, NIA said.
The Upper Tabuating SRIP is expected to provide irrigation water to around 700.87 hectares of agricultural land which will benefit about 223 farm families distributed among the barangays of Nazareth, Rio Chico, Bago, and San Mariano in the municipalities of General Tinio and Peñaranda in Nueva Ecija.
NIA is a government-owned and controlled corporation primarily responsible for irrigation development and management. Its mandate is to plan, construct, operate and maintain irrigation systems in the country, which are consistent with integrated water resource management. The purpose of this is to improve agricultural productivity and increase farmers’ income.