PhilRice-hosted project helps increase production

March 9, 2011 1:31 am 

SCIENCE CITY OF MUNOZ, Nueva Ecija, March 8 — An internationally-funded project, hosted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) here, helped increase rice production in Tarlac province by 83 percent last cropping season.

Jesusa Noveda, municipal agriculturist in La Paz, a 4th class municipality in Tarlac, said the project, “Increasing Rice Yields and Productivity through the Promotion of Small-Scale Irrigation and Integrated Crop Management Systems in Rain-fed Areas” improved farmers’ yield through irrigation equipment and technologies taught in the project’s Farmers’ Field School (FFS).

Funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with the support of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the local government units, the project provides engines and pump sets to help farmers in rain-fed areas secure water during the dry season.

Recently, Lea Salonga, international singer actress and United Nations (UN) Goodwill Ambassador, led the distribution of farm equipment to 145 farmers-partners in La Paz.

Salonga, together with the donor-organization and public officials, awarded farm equipment such as shredder-chippers for organic composting, engines and pump sets for small-scale irrigation system, and fertilizers to the FFS participants in the barangays of Caut, Matayum-tayum, Paludpod and Lomboy.

Farmers who have completed two seasons of FFS are eligible to own pump sets from the EU-FAO-DA project.

In Tarlac, more than 900 farmers from the municipalities of Mayantoc, San Clemente, Moncada, Ramos, Victoria, and La Paz were identified as project beneficiaries.

Project sites also include Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan and Pampanga, as these provinces have large areas of groundwater and prevalent poverty incidence and experienced intense damage on agricultural crop and infrastructure caused by typhoons "Ondoy" and "Pepeng" in September and October 2009. (PNA)

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