Irrigation evaluation in agri policy forum
Irrigation management and development takes center stage when state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) holds a forum on the Assessment of the Irrigation and Postharvest Facilities at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) on March 30, the Philippine Information Agency reported.
PIDS president Gilberto Llanto said in a statement that Arlene Inocencio, former PIDS research fellow and currently professor at the De la Salle University-Manila, will present the findings and recommendations of her team on the technical/physical and institutional aspects of irrigation management and development for national and communal irrigation systems.
“The irrigation sector in the country has long been facing issues of underdevelopment, mismanagement, and environmental degradation. Despite receiving a third of the total budget for agriculture, the sector has fallen short in delivering what is expected from it,” Llanto said.
The PIDS study evaluated 66 communal irrigation systems and 22 national irrigation systems in 16 provinces in Luzon.
The paper proposes a systematic approach to water allocation and distribution, an integrated development plan, and a review of existing policies and regulations that possibly hamper the growth of the irrigation sector.
A second paper that will be presented focuses on the effectiveness of the rice processing centers and food terminals in the provinces of Pangasinan, Davao del Sur, Bohol, and Iloilo.
“For example, the authors computed the total gain in farmers’ income due to higher buying prices at around P13.9 million. Without these facilities, the authors contended that farmers could easily lose some P286.96 million,” Llanto said.