Rice lands in 2 Bulacan towns fast drying up due to broken NIA irrigation pumps
Farmers in the hilly towns of Bustos and Pandi have sought the assistance of the provincial government as their ricelands were adversely affected by lack of irrigation water.
The farmers represented by Ildefonso Canquin, chairman of the Provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Council (PAFC) of Bulacan and Restituto Delara, chairman of the Municipal Agriculture and Fisheries Council (MAFC- Bustos) asked Governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado to help them save what remains of their rice crops.
Delara said that the two 350 horse-power pumps that distribute irrigation water to rice lands in Bustos and Pandi had conked out and had been out-of-order for several weeks now.
He said that due to the broken pumps, half of the 600 hectares of farm lands already planted with palay, which are now on its reproductive or fruiting stage, were already destroyed.
“Every dry season, some Php 40,000 is being invested by the farmers per hectare. However, half of the said amount was already lost and the other half might lose too if no immediate solution will be applied,” Delara said.
They clarified that if no action will be made to repair or replace the said pumps, the remaining 300 hectares of flowering palays will also go to waste in a week’s time.
Alvarado immediately called the attention of National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Region III to replace the 40-year old pumps that cater to Angat, Bustos and Pandi.
The NIA told the governor that for the mean time, they can lend five 9 -horse power emergency water pumps.
The governor also called the regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and sought assistance for the distressed farmers.
The DA Region IIII office also promised the governor to lend 10 9 -horse power pumps to help the farmers save their remaining crops.
Alvarado said that according to the farmers, the NIA gave the go signal to farm their lands while one of the irrigation pumps was under repair, until the remaining pump was also broken and nothing can be used to supply their farms.
Alvarado said that the two aging and worn-out pumps should be replaced immediately.
It also came to his knowledge that the contractor for the repair transferred it to a subcontractor that made the process longer and that irrigation canals in the province are needing to be modernized with concrete linings.
The governor also told the farmers that Congressman Gavini Pancho included in his 2018 budget the replacement for the pumps, but for now they will need to settle for repairs.
We will try to lobby that to NIA Region III Regional Manager Engr. Josephine B. Salazar,and see what is just and proper to do to help our farmers,” Alvarado said. (PNA)