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DA showcases drip irrigation tech in Pampanga

Author: DA Communications Group | 14 June 2022

As part of the efforts to modernize the farm systems adapted in production areas, the government is investing in irrigation technologies to increase rice production and attain sufficiency in the near term.    

On June 14, 2022, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar visited the Rice-Based Drip Irrigation Fertigation Showcase at the Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU).

 “Drip irrigation is an important step in our journey towards modernizing and industrializing the rice sector,” Secretary Dar said. 

The Rice- Based Drip Irrigation Fertigation Showcase was established through the P20-million funding support from the Department of Agriculture, through the Regional Field Office in Central Luzon (DA-RFO 3). Private entities Gilan Global Ventures Corporation, Yovel East Research and Development Inc., and Netafim also partnered in the realization of the project. 

Using the technology, DA will develop the five-hectares land of PSAU, planted with rice varieties — Longping, US-88, SL-8, 436, and 160. 

Aside from the controlled application of water, the system is also used to incorporate fertilizer within the irrigation water by the drip system. 

In his message, Sec. Dar hopes that the next administration will continue their support to the said project, adding that the DA is prepared to present its proposals to further develop the rice sector. 

The agri chief said that DA is now drafting a program, aligned to the aspiration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. to reduce rice prices. 

He said the proposed program, “Masagana 150 (inbred seeds)” and “Masagana 200 (hybrid seeds),” seek to produce 7.5 tons/ hectare and 10 tons/ hectare respectively for the next 3-4 years. 

The Secretary also underscored the importance of bringing in the private sector in capacitating farmers and fisherfolk in clustering their farms. 

“If we go by nature, institutionalizing farmers and fishers will take some time, but if we bring the farmers and fishers to the private sector, it can accelerate the process,” the agri chief said. 

He added that the drip irrigation project will also serve as a learning area for PSAU students. 

“This will be a good exposure for the students,” he said adding that the technology must also be showcased in other regions. 

Secretary Dar also said that drip irrigation must be promoted in other water systems such as the solar-powered drainage system. ### (Kristel Merle, DA-AFID)

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