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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

NIA target this La Niña season: Irrigate 7,808 hectares Bohol prime farmlands

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 24, (PIA)—The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is still nailing an irrigation target of 7,808 hectares and prays that at normal condition, it can perform as projected.

This as the playing to the hilt, Bohol’s dream of becoming more than 104% rice sufficient in the region and the food basket in the Visayas continue to engage agricultural sector workers into realizing the goal. 

Administering Malinao, Capayas, Bayongan and Talibon Small Reservoir Irrigation System which has an aggregate 7,808 hectares of service area, Bohol-based NIA 7 relies on the country’s weather bureau’s forecast of the La Niña.

Last May 24, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) said that La Niña marks the onset of the rainy season in the second half of 2016. 
The weather bureau’s statement, while also tends to consider La Niña to bring more than ordinary rains, comes as a welcome to farmers who prayed for a farming respite from the recently ended drought. 

The long dry season brought water in three of Bohol dams at critical level while Bayongan Dam reservoir reached its dead water elevation. 

With this La Niña, Bohol Integrated Irrigation System (BIIS) is projecting 7,808 hectares to be irrigated this cropping season, said NIA-7 Regional Manager Engr. Modesto Membreve.

In his Weekly El Nino Situationer for the week ending October 17, Engr Membreve said they target to hit 3,500 hectares of Malinao Irrigation System (IS), 2,858 of Bayongan IS, 750 hectares of Talibon Small Reservoir IS and 700 hectares of Capayas IS in Ubay. 

According to a report submitted by NIA Engineering and Operations Division Manager Engr. Olimpio Galagala, the past drought affected both Bayongan and Capayas reservoirs that in the last dry cropping season, Bayongan reservoir may take a long time to fill. 

But even then, BIIS authorities suggest to farmers that they take advantage of the rain water for their seed sowing activities.

This is while waiting for the water in the dams to reach sufficient levels to start the supply of ample irrigation water, Engr. Galagala explained. 

At the recent Association of United Development Information Officers (AUDIO) Bisita Opisina at the NIA in Pilar, information Officer Anthony Alonzo said that as early as May 23 this year, Talibon Small Reservoir started delivering irrigation services while Malinao IS did it since June 20.

Bayongan, although worst hit by the El Niño, has stared servicing irrigation water to one irrigation association since July 11 and then an additional irrigation services to three more IAs since August 1 while Capayas IS has also irrigated one IS since last August 1, Engr Galagala stated. 

As to the rest of the IAs, Engr Membreve in his weekly situationer, in the meantime said the rest of the areas programmed for water delivery will largely depend on the availability of irrigation water in the dam in the coming days. 

As of October 17 too, NIA reports 152.05 meters at the Malinao, which is already spilling level while Capayas Dam recorded in at 33.96 meter, or just a few more days of rain short of the actual 36.50 meters.

Meanwhile, Talibon Dam’s actual elevation when full at30.00 meters is still 1.42 meters short of filling and Bayongan’s full capacity at 52 meters is still 4.5 meters short. 

Membreve said NIA is currently monitoring irrigated areas and following strict implementation of water delivery schedules, while the rains are expected to come anytime soon. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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