MALAYBALAY CITY, BUKIDNON – In line with the agency’s goal of attaining food security and sufficiency, the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) turned over P9.2 million worth of diversion dam to Maranhog Farmers Small Water Irrigation System Association (SWISA) in barangay Miglamin on Friday, September 4.

Leading the project turnover is DA-RFO 10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado to the project-recipients thru Malaybalay City Vice Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran and Maranhog Farmers SWISA President Dionesio C. Caonan.

Funded under the Rice Program, the project aims to irrigate the 50-hectare target service area of the 35-membered farmer-association cultivating rice.

For the past years, the association has encountered challenges on water supply availability. Of which, the project is seen to help rice farmers increase their cropping intensity and crop yield.

“We used to only harvest 12 to 15 sacks of rice in a cropping season. With the diversion dam, we are expecting to harvest around 40 to 50 bags,” Caonan accounted.

He further conveyed the association’s interest in availing more projects from DA, especially in acquiring a rice transplanter, considering the high cost of labor in their locality.

RED Collado responded the SWISA can request additional agri-interventions such as farm machineries and equipment, as long as they are accredited with the DA.

“Once the farmers-group is validated, a team of engineers from DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization will visit [your area] and assess what type of assistance is appropriate for your planting and harvesting requirements,” the agency head informed.

Further, he shared, that each association will be entitled to a package of farm machineries and equipment amounting to about P5.5 million, provided the group has complied with all the requirements and passed the validation.

On the other hand, Malaybalay City Vice-Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran challenged them to sustain the project, which will be instrumental in improving the lives of the farmers.

The turnover was also graced by DA-RFO 10’s Bukidnon Provincial Operations Center Head, Dr. Janet D. Lopez, representatives of various irrigators associations of Malaybalay City, Remedios R. Sarzuelo, city agriculturist of Malaybalay City, among others. # (JCGamboa)