CAGAYAN VALLEY, Philippines (May 20, 2011)--Fueled by sustained irrigation projects during the dry season, the Cagayan Valley Region posted an unprecedented growth in rice and corn production for the first semester, with a projected 1.223 million metric tons of palay, or a 31.42 percent increase from last year’s 930,999 metric tons in the same period.
This was revealed by Department of Agriculture Region 2 Regional Executive Director Lucrecio Alviar Jr. to Secretary Proceso J. Alcala during the latter’s field visit to Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya provinces on May 18 and 19, 2011.
Alcala was keynote speaker in the Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (MARIIS) irrigator’s congress of the National Irrigation Administration on May 18, participated in by around 2,000 individual members coming from the 80,000-strong, 45 community irrigators’ associations in the region.
According to data submitted to Alviar by Regional Technical Director Dr.C. Perdido, the areas planted to palay (unmilled rice) in the region rallied to 103 percent in the provinces of Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya, 102 percent in Quirino, and 100 percent in Isabela as of mid-May.
In the province of Cagayan, the total area planted was 121,774 hectares (has.) from the original targeted area of 117,800 has. Of this area, 84,781 were irrigated and 36,993 were rain-fed. The total area harvested was pegged at 110,719 has., or a 90.9% accomplishment.
In Isabela, total area planted was 138,624 hectares (out of 138,500 has.) , of which 124,902 were irrigated and 13,722 were rain-fed. Area harvested was 135,999 has., or a 98.1% accomplishment.
In Nueva Vizcaya, a total of 26,886 has. were targeted, but the actual area planted was 27,747 has., 25,887 of which were irrigated while 1,860 rain-fed. Total area harvested was placed at 20,955 has. for a 75.5% accomplishment.
For the province of Quirino, 10,360 has. were initially targeted but 10,516 has. were planted with palay, of which 9,500 has. were irrigated and 1,016 has. rain-fed. Total area harvested was 10,481 has., for an accomplishment rate of 99.7%.
Secretary Alcala lauded the region’s sustained efforts in rice production, citing the important role of irrigation in meeting the department’s thrust of food and staples self-sufficiency. He vowed to vigorously support irrigation projects, saying the biggest chunk of DA’s 2012 budget is earmarked for irrigation.
Alviar admitted that sufficient irrigation played an important role in the region’s rice production during the dry season. Additional irrigated areas for this year’s dry season has reached 6,252 has. for national and community irrigation systems, while 830 has. were irrigated using Small Water Irrigation Projects (SWIPs), he said.
The other factors were quality seeds where 150,175 has. were planted with certified seeds, and 20,269 has with hybrid seeds; and the establishment of technology demonstration farms in 262 sites, benefitting 12,584 farmers.
As this developed, NIA-MARIIS pledged to support the national food staples self-sufficiency program being pushed by Secretary Alcala by increasing the total number of irrigated areas to 161,996 has. to produce 972,816 metric tons (MT) of rice by 2012.
This will gradually be increased to 166,558 has., producing 1,108,783 MT by 2013; 173,262 has. for a 1,212,834 MT yield by 2014; and 178,360 has. for a 1,284,192 MT harvest by 2015.--adambaguio