Written by the Web Team
A water saving irrigation technology being promoted by PhilRice will be expanded to other areas under the Mlang/Malasila River Irrigation Systems (MLARIS), which will help the country achieve rice self-sufficiency.
National Irrigation Administration-MLARIS Principal Engineer Flora May D. Respicio said that Controlled Irrigation (CI), a PhilRice-promoted water saving technology (WST), is a practical water saving technique in expanding irrigation serviceable areas. It can increase rice production by increasing the area planted, because the water sources for irrigation are used more efficiently.
“We want to encourage other rice farmers to try this (WST) technology that will help them determine the appropriate amount of water and timing of irrigation in their rice fields. The more water we saved, the more fields will be irrigated and planted,” Respicio said.
As a way to encourage farmers to adopt the technology, Respicio said that seven Irrigators’ Associations (IAs) of NIA-MLARIS had competed a field day showcasing techno demo farms on WST, with integration on the use of nutrient manager, plastic drumseeder, and high quality seeds to further increase their yield.
“The unique criterion of this contest is its technology promotion aspect. The higher the number of farmers per IA during the field day, the higher the points they will earn. It’s one way of promoting the technology since most farmers will not believe unless they see it with their own eyes,” Respicio said.
She is optimistic that their efforts will help the country achieve rice self-sufficiency before 2013 ends.
Meanwhile, Helda B. Larida, one of the active members of LIDANAMA IA and an advocate of WST, lauded PhilRice for choosing them as a partner in introducing WST to farmers.
“PhilRice technologies helped us increased our production along with reduced labor cost and conserving irrigation water. Ever since we started using the observation well in 2009, none of our members are complaining about the delay in irrigation. PhilRice provision of an observation well helped us monitor the water level below the ground, which dictates us the time for irrigation,” she said.
Larida has been awarded as “Regional Rice Achiever” in this year`s Gawad Saka Search for promoting CI technology.
Cotabato Irrigation Management Office Division Manager C`zar M. Sulaik also encouraged other Irrigation Systems to adopt WST technology to address water shortage in Mindanao.
“WST is an answer to NIA in addressing irrigation water shortage, and to farmers who worry and complain when irrigation water couldn`t reach their areas on time,” he said.
Sulaik also said that MLARIS is a good example for other IAs to adopt effective farming technologies being promoted by Department of Agriculture agencies like PhilRice, since it helps achieve a better level of rice production.
MLARIS is one of the organized and successful Irrigation Systems in Region XII. The result of the field day which was conducted in early September will be announced in October, when all data have been collected and analyzed after harvesting.