Better access to irrigation


Corn farmers in an upland village in La Libertad, Negros Oriental, now have better access to water after they received an open source water pump from the Department of Agriculture (DA). 

The machinery is expected to irrigate 35 hectares of land, which will benefit 103 corn farmers who are members of the Bunacan Mandapaton La Libertad Farmers’ Association (Bumalufa).

Bumalufa president Rodella Sangilan thanked the government for this assistance, saying that it would help solve their problems with water supply.

“Nalipay mi og dako kay dili nami magsuhol og tawo para mukabo ug tubig. Dili nami mobayad og P150 kada adlaw para lang mukabu,” Sangilan said. (We are very happy because we no longer have to hire someone to fetch water. We don’t have to pay P150 a day.)

DA Negros Oriental public information officer Mary Ritchel Bergantin said Barangay Mandapaton, the site identified by DA where the pumping set will be installed, is not far from an irrigation facility.

However, the irrigation facility supplies water directly to upland rice fields, so the association members had to pay for the transport of water from the irrigation facility to their corn fields to keep their crops hydrated.

DA Negros Oriental Provincial Agriculture Program Officer Alejandro Rafal said the pump will ensure a stable supply of water for farmers even during the dry season. It will also help increase corn production in La Libertad town.

“Base sa crop cut last year kay naka-produce og three tons (of corn) per hectare. With the help of this pumping set, expected na mo increase og at least five percent ang ilang production,” said Rafal. (Based on the crop cut last year, the town was able to produce three tons of corn per hectare. With the help of this pumping set, corn production in the town is expected to increase by five percent.) 

The turnover of the equipment is part of DA’s corn program with a project cost of P63,900.

La Libertad is a third class municipality located 105 kilometers away from the capital city, Dumaguete City. | NWI