5Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz – An international network of organizations eyed to promote the alternate wetting and drying method (AWD) for sustainable water use and environment conservation during their visit in PhilRice, May 11.

Fifteen foreign members of the Taskforce Committee on the International Network for Water and Ecosystem in Paddy Fields (INWEPF), together with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and PhilRice experts considered the promotion of alternate wetting and drying method (AWD), a management option to help reduce water consumption and greenhouse gas emission in rice production, without yield penalty.

“With AWD, rice farmers can save up to 30% in their water consumption. This climate-smart technology is valuable given the country’s problem on water scarcity,” says Evangeline Sibayan, PhilRice engineer.

INWEPF Taskforce member and NIA Bicol Regional Manager Dr. Vicente Vicmudo said that the AWD, when fully maximized by the rice farmers, can benefit them in various ways.

“When farmers use this technology, there is a big chance for them to increase their yield while they maintain the good structure of their soil. Also, when the water consumption is substantially reduced by 20%, they are actually promoting area expansion by 20%,” Vicmudo adds.

Filipina Bermudez, manager of the public affairs department of NIA says that the said dialogue with INWEPF is a venue to identify and further develop good practices and technologies for innovative policy in the field of sustainable water use in paddy fields, while conserving the environment.

The taskforce committee members from Japan, Korea, and Thailand, also visited irrigation facilities in Luzon, and discussed plans in preparation for the 14th INWEPF Steering Committee Meeting and Symposium with the theme Strengthening global partnership for sustainable and resilient irrigation and drainage systems in paddy fields to be hosted by the Philippines in November 2017.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute