‘Lake water is suitable for crops’

The municipality of San Francisco’s Danao lake water is suited for crops. This was found out after a four-month experiment conducted by the Capitol through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist’s Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP). This is in collaboration with the municipal government through its Municipal Agriculture Office.

The result may bolster the inclination of the town to tap the lake as the source of its irrigation project.

The demo farm, which was identified by the town’s FSTP coordinators, is located near the lake.

The farm is about 100 square meters. It is now filled with growing crops and vegetables such as corn, ampalaya, okra, spring bean, tomato, chili, squash, and cassava. The tomatoes and okra started to bear fruits and flowers.

The Capitol supplied the farm with the water pump and hose, which is manned by Patabog Farmers Association.

FSTP National Program Leader and Capitol Agriculture Consultant Dr. Romulo Davide visited the area last March 4.

Davide said the results belied the claim of the locals that lake water is not a substitute for fresh water in watering their crops. He said they will schedule a field day for other farmers to see the results of their experiment.

He said these crops are salt tolerant, knowing that the lake was infiltrated with sea water.

He thanked the municipal government for allowing them to hold the experiment

Officer-in-Charge Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Roldan Saragena said his office is urging the town to submit a proposal to the National Irrigation Authority for the project.

The town has its existing irrigation project but they are only relying on rainwater and spring. FSTP Team B Leader Joseph dela Cerna said they have difficulty in expanding the project. As a result, the farmers couldn’t farm regularly.

Makatabang jud na namo kay pwede nami unya kapananom bisan way uwan ug ilabina sa tinghuwaw (This will really help us a lot because we can now farm even during the rainy or cold season),” said Rosario Wenceslao, one of the farmers who attended to the demo farm.

Danao lake, which is now a tourist spot of the town, is about 650 hectares. The locals believe it can supply the whole town of San Francisco of water for farm purposes.

The farmers are likewise optimistic that they will have a permanent water supply for their crops if drought comes when they will have an irrigation system.

San Francisco is composed of 15 barangays. It is one of the three towns in the Camotes group of islands.