NEDA approved P19.7-B irrigation projects

Secretary of Agriculture Proceso J. Alcala thanked President Benigno S. Aquino III and other members of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) board for recently approving three irrigation projects, worth P19.7 billion. The projects will contribute to sustaining rice production and sufficiency for the country’s growing population in the long term.
Alcala said the three irrigation projects will sustain the gains of the country by end of 2013 when the country would have achieved rice sufficiency.
The three projects include the Jalaur River Multipurpose Irrigation Project-Phase II (JRMIP2) in Iloilo, worth P11.2 B; Casecnan Multipurpose Irrigation and Power Project-Phase II (CMIPP2) in Nueva Ecija and Tarlac, worth P7B; and the Umayam River Irrigation Project (URIP) in Agusan del Sur, worth P1.5B.
They form part of the 12-big ticket infrastructure projects, worth P133B, approved by the NEDA Board chaired by President Aquino during its March 22, 2012 meeting in Malacañang.
Secretary Alcala said the construction and completion of the three projects will be spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the National Irrigation Administration (NIA). Altogether, the three irrigation systems will irrigate a total area of 102,890 hectares (ha), of which 36,550 has are new, and 66,340 ha are rehabilitated.
More importantly, he said the projects will directly benefit 72,900 farm-families in Iloilo, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, and Agusan del Sur, whose rice production and income will more than double.
For his part, NIA Administrator Antonio Nangel said that at a conservative average harvest of four tons of palay per hectare per cropping, the three irrigation projects would enable farmers to produce an additional total annual harvest of 823,120 metric tons of palay, worth P14 billion, at P17 per kilo—the government’s support price for palay.
“Definitely this is a big push towards our target to provide sufficient and sustainable rice supply for the entire nation,” Secretary Alcala said.
“Further, the three irrigation projects and several others that will be constructed this year and in 2013 will ensure that the Aquino Administration will adequately produce the total rice and other staple requirements of the country’s growing population,” Alcala said.
The DA-NIA said the Jalaur irrigation project in Iloilo when completed will irrigate a total of 31,840 ha, of which 9,500 ha are new and 22,340 ha are rehabilitated. It will benefit 30,000 farm-families in six towns.
The project is expected to be completed in five years, NIA Administrator Nangel said. Thereafter, farmers will be able to increase their palay production from 3.6 metric tons to 5 metric tons per hectare during the wet season, and from 3.4 metric tons to 5.5 metric tons per hectare during the dry season, the NIA chief added.
Of the total project cost of P11.2 B, P8.95B will be sourced from foreign funders, particularly the Korean Exim Bank. The remaining P2.26B will be shouldered by the government, particularly the DA-NIA.
The second phase of the Casecnan irrigation project or CMIPP phase 2 will serve a total of 60,321 has, of which 20,231 has are new areas, and the bulk of 40,000 has are rehabilitated areas within the Upper Pampanga River Integrated and Irrigation System. Once completed, it will benefit 36,900 farm-families in Nueva Ecija (Munoz City, Guimba, Nampicuan, Talugtog and Cuyapo) and Tarlac (Anao, Ramos and Victoria).
The Casecnan irrigation project will entail a total cost of P7B, of which P5.29B will sourced from foreign financial institutions, and the balance of P1.76B will be bankrolled by the government.
Finally, the Umayam River Irrigation Project (URIP) in Agusan del Sur will irrigate 6,729 has of new areas, mainly in the towns of La Paz and Loreto, and will benefit 6,000 farm-families. Of the total cost of P1.56B, P1.353B will be in the form of loan, and balance of P207 Million will be shouldered by the DA-NIA.