Arisep would improve farmers’ lives– Celeste
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
URDANETA CITY – The completion of the Agno River Integrated Irrigation System Extension Project (Arisep) would improve the economic condition of the farmers in Eastern Pangasinan, according to the regional director of the National Irrigation Authority in the Ilocos Region.
Director John Celeste said Arisep would be completed in 2018.
With the gigantic irrigation system extension, farmers could harvest twice or thrice a year from the present harvest of once a year, Celeste explained.
He added however that the ideal harvest would be twice a year, so the land would recover its fertility.
In December last year, Francis Pangilinan, former government food security adviser, declared during the campaign season that Arisep was allocated a budget of P2.6-billion for the completion of the irrigation system extension project so it can irrigate 12,800 hectares of rice land.
Pangasinan ranks third behind Nueva Ecija and Isabela provinces in rice production because half of its 180,000 hectare farmlands are still rain fed.
The Arisep would benefit 10,557 farmers in Pangasinan.
The Arisep is the Phase III of the three – phase water systems in the province. Phase 1 was the re-regulating pond that catches water from San Roque Dam, financed from a loan from China. The Phase II was the construction of Agno River Integrated Irrigation Project (ARIIP). ARIIP serves up to 30,000 farmers planting on the 12,530 hectare lands in the towns of Asingan, Balungao, Bautista, Binalonan, Calasiao, Laoac, Manaoag, Mapandan, Mangaldan, Natividad, Sta. Maria, San Manuel, San Quintin, Sta. Barbara, Tayug and Villasis and Urdaneta City.
Phase III (Arisep) will irrigate agricultural lands in the towns of San Nicolas, Tayug, Sta. Maria, Rosales, Sto. Tomas, and Alcala, and San Manuel town in Tarlac province.
Celeste said the NIA Region 1 office has a P1 billion budget this year while the ARISEP has P900,000 budget.
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