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Ecija farmers urged to follow ‘planting calendar’ for proper irrigation

December 10, 2021 Steve A. Gosuico 591 views

CABANATUAN CITY – Farmers in Nueva Ecija and other adjoining areas in Central Luzon were urged to stick to the planting calendar that was earlier issued by the irrigation agency for the entire dry season cropping next year to ensure efficient water supply and proper irrigation.

The National Irrigation Administration-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems (NIA-UPRIIS) office, which operates Pantabangan Dam, its main irrigation source for Nueva Ecija and parts of Bulacan, Pampanga and Tarlac, said it has already irrigated some 11,300 hectares out of the total programmed area of 129,000 hectares for the dry season cropping which runs from November this year until April 2022.

NIA-UPRIIS chief Engr. Rose B. Bote said she already advised local farmers to follow the irrigation supply service protocols pertaining to the planting schedule that was released by the agency as early as September or more than two months ago.

She said this enabled local farmers to plant early as enough water has been impounded during the rainy days, citing the case of the newly-built Upper Tabuating Small Reservoir Irrigation Project in General Tinio town which now irrigates 700 hectares of farmlands, benefitting 230 families.

Bote said they had initially started to release water at 45 cubic meters per second as two local dams in Palayan City and Peñaranda began their water supply service for the dry season in mid-November.

As of Dec. 10, water elevation at Pantabangan Dam stood at 208.83 meters, or still 11.10 meters above its rule curve elevation of 219.93 meters.

Meanwhile, seven farmer-irrigator groups became recipients of canal maintenance remunerations from NIA-UPRIIS Division 6 worth a total of P78,140, said Div. 6 head Engr. Jose Ariel G. Domingo.

The amount was distributed to the six IAs – the ANAMCU FIA, the SAMMMMEY, FIA, Western Guimba, West Coast, V8CNI, Maunlad at Masaganang Kabukiran, and Talugtug-Guimba FIA led respectively by IA presidents Sofronio Santiago, Rolando Galdonez, Edgar Asuncion, Celso Joaquin, Eduardo Capinpin, Domingo Flores and Federico Cinense III.

The six IA presidents thanked Bote and Domingo for the continuous assistance and support given to them by NIA-UPRIIS despite the pandemic.