As part of the efforts to modernize the farm systems adapted in production areas, the government is investing in irrigation technologies to increase rice production and attain sufficiency in the near term.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar visited the Rice-Based Drip Irrigation Fertigation Showcase at the Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU).
“Drip irrigation is an important step in our journey towards modernizing and industrializing the rice sector,” Dar said.
The Rice-Based Drip Irrigation Fertigation Showcase was established through the P20-million funding support from the Department of Agriculture, through the Regional Field Office in Central Luzon (DA-RFO 3).
Private entities Gilan Global Ventures Corporation, Yovel East Research and Development Inc., and Netafim also partnered in the realization of the project.
Using the technology, DA will develop the 5-hectare land of PSAU, planted with rice varieties — Longping, US-88, SL-8, 436, and 160.
Aside from the controlled application of water, the system is also used to incorporate fertilizer within the irrigation water by the drip system.
“I hope that the next administration will continue their support to the said project.”
In his message, the agriculture chief expressed hope that the next administration will continue its support for the said project, adding that the DA is prepared to present its proposals to further develop the rice sector.
The agriculture head said that DA is now drafting a program, aligned with the aspiration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to reduce rice prices.
He said the proposed program, “Masagana 150 (inbred seeds)” and “Masagana 200 (hybrid seeds),” seek to produce 7.5 tons/ hectare and 10 tons/ hectare respectively for the next 3-4 years.
Dar also underscored the importance of bringing in the private sector in capacitating farmers and fisherfolk in clustering their farms.
“The drip irrigation project will also serve as a learning area for PSAU students.”
“If we go by nature, institutionalizing farmers and fishers will take some time, but if we bring the farmers and fishers to the private sector, it can accelerate the process,” he said.
Dar added that the drip irrigation project will also serve as a learning area for PSAU students.
“This will be a good exposure for the students,” he said, adding that the technology must also be showcased in other regions.
Dar also said that drip irrigation must be promoted in other water systems such as the solar-powered drainage system.