15 farmers associations to get drip irrigation system 

At least 15 farmers’ associations will receive 15 units of drip irrigation system and water pumps this year.

The Cebu Provincial Government, through a private contractor, already made partial installations of the project.

In line with the installation of drip irrigation, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) held a training on its operation and maintenance last June 23.

All the participants are recipients or about to receive such farm equipment.

In his earlier pronouncement, Governor Hilario P. Davide III pledged support to all intervention to the agricultural sector.

Engr. Nancy Quinapondan, chief, OPA Agri-Engineering Division said that the current administration prioritizes agriculture. In fact, she said, the agri-engineering division received record setting allocations during the governor’s first term.

In 2014, OPA’s budget reached multimillion pesos. This year, the agri-engineering division was allocated with P50 million pesos.

Quinapondan said the drip irrigation project is a subproject of the Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP). It is meant to support the vegetable farmers in the province.

Provincial Agriclturist Dr. Roldan Saragena said the drip irrigation system is one way of making the farmers resilient during El Niño phenomenon or offseason when there is less rainfall.

In drip irrigation, farmers can save water since the water drops directly to the root zone or surface near the plant.

Saragena added that it is in the offseason that farmers can get a better price of their vegetable commodities following the law on demand and supply.

The project was also proven effective by Domeciano Binigay of Barangay Tumalog, municipality of Oslob. According to Binigay, the project allows him not to hire people anymore to water his vegetables. Thus, it saves him time and money.

He also noticed that his farm yield is almost the same compared to its average production in the normal season. Binigay said even with the advent of El Niño especially since February when the long drought finally kicked in, his vegetable farm still survived.

Binigay was one of the 14 pioneering farmer-recipients of the project. It was just started during the first term of Gov. Davide.

The 15 units of drip irrigation system and water pumps came from the 2015 budget. OPA said another batch of 10 farmers will get drip irrigation system and water pump using the 2016 budget.