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Jan 19, 2018 @ 22:24

NEDA pushes for smaller scale irrigation to save groundwater

An official of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) is pushing for the construction of more small-scale irrigation systems nationwide.

“Having more of such systems will help promote agricultural productivity and efficient use of water,” said Maricel Solatre, officer in charge of NEDA’s agriculture commodities division at the sidelines of the Bureau of Plant Industry’s forum in Metro Manila on Thursday.

Authorities continue promoting resilience-building nationwide, warning the Philippines is among countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Among small-scale irrigation systems that Solatre considers beneficial to the country are those for rainwater harvesting.

Capturing, collecting, and storing rainwater for use in agriculture is a practical approach and help lessen the need to extract groundwater, she added.

Solatre presented in the forum the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan’s provisions for agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (AFF).

“The government aims to increase AFF productivity within ecological limits,” she said.

Accelerating construction of climate change- and disaster-resilient small-scale irrigation systems, and retrofitting existing ones are among the strategies to achieve such goal, she said.

Linking farmers and fisherfolk to markets, as well as facilitating their access to technology and funding, are some ways to help them become entrepreneurs and eventually break free from poverty, she said.

The forum was among the activities the Bureau of Plant Industry has lined up for the agency’s 88th anniversary this year.

For the anniversary, the agency chose the theme “Ang Bureau of Plant Industry: Tumutugon sa pandaigdigang hamon sa paghahalaman at kalakalan.” (PNA)


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