The National Irrigation Administration (NIA), under the leadership of Administrator Ricardo R. Visaya, inaugurated the P133.85-million Sta. Barbara River Irrigation system (Sta. Barbara RIS), one unit of 84-square meter Irrigators Association (IA) Building, and four units of 200-square meter combined IA offices and warehouses, on December 03, 2018 at Benigno Aquino Avenue Diversion Road, Madurriao, Iloilo City.
The irrigation system under the National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (NISRIP) is funded through a grant from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) amounting to P113,850,153.90. The project is expected to provide timely and reliable irrigation service to 2,289 hectares of agricultural land in the Municipalities of Leganes, Pavia, Sta. Barbara, and Iloilo City, benefitting 1,266 farmers and their families. The project is set to improve the cropping intensity of farmers from 162 to 200 percent, thus increasing the farmers’ yield from 99 to 110 cavans per hectare for wet season and 80 to 100 cavans per hectare for dry season.
In his message, JICA Philippines Senior Representative Yo Ebisawa said that the project will pave way for higher rice productivity and income of the Filipino farmers.
“Filipino farmers, unfortunately, remain among the Philippines’ poorest sectors with poverty incidence of as much as 34.3 percent. With this project, we hope our farmers to improve and sustain their productivity and income. JICA would continue supporting the agriculture sector of the Philippines”, he added.
NIA Administrator Visaya, on the other hand, said that the project will translate into an efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) that will optimize the benefits derived from the irrigation system.
“The inauguration of this project means that our objectives are now all set to be realized. The offices of Irrigators Associations and its support facilities and farm machineries will ensure quality of rice produce, thus gaining higher price for the commodity which will eventually increase the income of our farmers… NIA has already accomplished the rehabilitation and improvement of this irrigation system and we will never stop giving you, our farmers, the best possible [irrigation] service that you deserve”, said Administrator Visaya.
Sta. Barbara RIS, whose water sources come from Sta. Barbara River, includes the construction of construction of 12.1 kilometers of concrete canal lining, construction and repair of 65 units of related structure, repair and replacement of 113 units of other structure, new steel gates, and 7.6 kilometers of gravel surfacing, among others.
Among those who attended the inauguration were Japanese Economic Affairs Minister Makoto Iyori, NIA Regional Manager Gerardo Corsiga, and NISRIP Project Manager Silvino Navarro.
NIA remains committed to provide substantial contribution to the inclusive socio-economic growth and agricultural development of the country through an efficient, sustainable, and reliable irrigation service to the Filipino farmers.
**For questions and/or clarifications, you may contact:
PILIPINA P. BERMUDEZ
Department Manager A
NIA Public Affairs and Information Staff
Mobile: 0995 251 7847