BANGUED, Abra (PIA) - - The Abra River Irrigation System (RIS) is expected to be fully rehabilitated this year to boost agricultural production of farmer beneficiaries.
National Irrigation Administration Abra Satellite Office Provincial Head Engr. Ronald Bisquerra said the Pidigan area is the third of the three packages of the Abra RIS rehabilitation and improvement project with 60 percent accomplishment rate.
The project which took off last year has an aggregate budget of P300 million. The first and second packages, in Bangued with P120M and Tayum with P100M allocation, respectively were completed last year. The Pidigan package with budget allocation of P80M is expected to be completed by July.
The irrigation system which used to have earth canal is now constructed with lining or all of the main canals and lateral canals are concreted preventing or minimizing water seepage, according to Bisquerra. The project also includes the improvement of embankments, repair of structure components along the irrigation system and cleaning of silted portions.
The rehabilitation of the irrigation system is crucial to have free flow of irrigation water until it reaches the farms, said Bisquerra. This would allow for farmers to go for second cropping.
In Bangued, farmers before can only have one cropping due to siltation and seepage along earth canals unlike those in Tayum, the irrigation’s headwater, they can go for second cropping.
The actual irrigated area for Abra RIS is 2,010 hectares with a total of 2,085 farmer beneficiaries. Bangued - 1,003 hectares with 872 farmer beneficiaries; Tayum - 481 hectares with 627 farmer beneficiaries and Pidigan - 526 hectares with 586 farmer beneficiaries.
Bisquerra said the rehabilitation funding of the Abra RIS, considered a national RIS, was through the initiative of Congressman Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos. (JDP/PIA CAR)