September 28, 2018
Davao del Sur, PHILIPPINES – A newly rehabilitated and improved national irrigation system, Mal River Irrigation System (RIS), in Mindanao was inaugurated Friday (September 21) as part of continuing assistance of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the agriculture sector in the Philippines under the 6.187-billion yen National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (NISRIP).
The Mal RIS subproject, which began in 2016 and was completed last May, aims to restore about 2,780 hectares of service area in the province to help raise productivity and income of 3,720 farmers in the area. It is one out of the eleven national irrigation systems to be rehabilitated under NISRIP.
Top officials of the Province of Davao del Sur, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Office of the Cabinet Secretary, JICA, and farmer beneficiaries attended the inauguration including turnover of support facilities for irrigators' associations (IAs).
"JICA is working with various sectors in the Philippines, including agriculture, to help improve rice productivity and raise the income of Filipino farming households," said JICA Philippines Chief Representative Yoshio Wada.
Farmers remain among the Philippines' poorest sectors with poverty incidence going as much as 34.3% (PSA Report, 2015).
The project has three components, namely: rehabilitation of irrigation facilities, institutional strengthening of IAs and agricultural support.
NISRIP is part of NIA's major thrust to fast track the restoration and rehabilitation of national irrigation systems to improve and sustain rice production and other staples in the country. The 11 NISRIP sites are located in the following 10 provinces: Ilocos Norte (Madongan and Solsona RIS), Pangasinan (San Fabian RIS), Pampanga (Porac-Gumain RIS), Quezon (Dumacaa RIS), Palawan (Malatgao RIS), Iloilo (Sta. Barbara RIS), Bukidnon (Muleta RIS), Davao del Sur (Mal RIS), Sultan Kudarat (Lambayong RIS), and Agusan del Sur (Simulao RIS).
In the Philippines, JICA has been helping reduce poverty through projects in the agriculture sector, infrastructure, and disaster risk reduction, among many others. As of 2017, total ODA of JICA in the Philippines allocated for agriculture amounted to about 295 billion yen.
The rehabilitation of irrigation systems and provision of other support facilities form part of JICA's assistance to raise agricultural productivity in the Philippines