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In line with its mission to upgrade agricultural productivity and increase farmer’s income, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) will turn-over in October the recently completed Malatgao River Irrigation System RIS) situated in the southern town of Narra.
These irrigation system, is expected to be an instrument in attaining the long-term goals of NIA.
The project is financially aided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through a loan requested by NIA amounting to P189 million.
Malatgao RIS took almost three (3) years of construction and was formally inaugurated on July 2019.
The irrigation system is both expected to start operating in the last quarter of 2019 and will benefit thousands of Narranian farmers, NIA Palawan Division Manager, Engr. Conrado V. Cardenas Jr., said in a recent interview.
“Nasa 3,000 farmers ang bilang namin. Marami talagang magbi-benefit,” Cardenas said.
Narra, for years, has been coined as the “Rice Granary of Palawan.” The town, blessed with its vast rice lands and potential irrigation sites has become a major supplier of rice demand not just in the province but even in some parts of the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Napakalaking factor ng irrigation sa farming. And Narra alone, kayang-kaya niya mag-supply ng rice sa buong province,”Cardenas said.
Local farmers have also expressed support and excitement in the completion of the irrigation system.
Eddie Dondoyano Sr., who rely on farming to assist everyday needs is one example.
“Malaking tulong sa amin ‘yan dito sa Narra. Kasi mataas na ang demand ng bigas ngayon, mas mapapadali ang pagsasaka kung may ganyang proyekto,” Dondoyano said.
Meanwhile, the Local Government Unit (LGU) also expressed their gratitude for the irrigation project.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa NIA na mabiyayaan nila ang farmers natin ng proyektong pampa-tubig, malaking tulong sa atin ‘yan,” Mayor Gerandy Danao said.
Based on a data handed out by NIA, Narra has a total of 15,000 hectares of potential irrigable area, and 7,535 hectares of these has been totally developed leaving 7,465 hectares of land which they say, is already included for future project plans of the administration.