June 20, 2024

BANGUED, Abra – This province received P50 million from the National Irrigation Administration to fund the pilot implementation of solar pump irrigation projects to mitigate the effects of El Niño.

NIA Abra Head Ronald Bisquerra said the project will be implemented this year in the towns of Namarabar, Peñarrubia, and Bangued.

“We are looking at solar pump through ground water as a solution against drought or El Niño, and we are studying it, concentrating on ground water,” he said.

Bisquerra said NIA is also considering providing training on alternate wetting and drying, at the same time, farmers will be taught rotation in the delivery of water. “This alternative wetting and drying will help augment measures against drought,” he said.

Bisquerra said alternate wetting and drying teaches farmers to allocate days to irrigate their crops and days to dry their farmlands. This water conservation technique will maximize the use of water to irrigate more areas.

He added they also conduct daily monitoring to provide assistance to farmers who are affected by the severe drought.

Through their monitoring, they were able to identify and provide assistance to farmers tilling two hectares affected by drought.

“We looked for water pumps that they can use in their affected areas but they decided not to push through with it since the water pumps use diesel which is expensive. They decided to report to the Crop Insurance that their crops are affected by the drought,” he added.

Pagasa reported El Niño remains active in the country and can last up until May this year. – Jamie Joie Malingan