ALFONSO LISTA, Ifugao,– More than 2,300 hectares of agricultural lands here will be fully irrigated once the P850 million Alfonso Lista pump irrigation project will be completed in the next two years, an official said here.
Engr. John Socala, Regional Irrigation Manager of the Cordillera office of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA-CAR), said the pump irrigation project is a multi-year locally-funded project that aims to provide sustainable agricultural development in the town by providing substantial and timely water supply for irrigation to agricultural lands in three barangays.
He explained the pump facility will draw water from the 360-megawatt Magat Dam reservoir which will be diverted to the service area through the put up and installation of pump and pump house, trans basin or conveyance system, reservoir dam and canalization.
“The service area of the new pump irrigation project will benefit around 2,800 farmers in barangays Sto. Domongo, Namillangan and Calupaan who will be ensured abundant water supply for irrigation during the dry season for them to be able to propagate their agricultural crops,” Socalo said.
He said the canalization and canal structure works, including the 7.9-kilometer main canal, the 23.12-kilometer lateral canals and the 2.28-kilometer service and access roads and project facility buildings are being completed right in time for the possible operation of the pump irrigation facility.
Socalo explained the pumping out of water from the Magat Dam reservoir will not significantly affect the plant’s power generation capacity considering that the appropriate feasibility study was done that resulted in the approval of the construction of the facility purposely to provide irrigation for more agricultural lands in the town to boost their rice and corn production annually.
“We have to maximize the irrigation potentials of the Cordillera so that our farmers will be able to significantly contribute to the country’s food security in the future,” Socalo said.
He said funds for the project were sourced out from the regular budget of the NIA and the pump irrigation facility was programmed to be completed by 2016 in order to provide adequate boost to the local agriculture industry considering that the low-lying town is a purely agriculture area.
He cited rice farmers will be able to have two to three cropping seasons once the irrigation project will be put in place thereby resulting to increased income and better and improved living condition for the families of the farmers.
Socalo said based on the program of work for the project, the pump house will be constructed by next year and the water pump will be purchased and installed during the later party of 2015 right in time for the projected operation of the facility paving the way for robust economic growth of the municipality and the province as well.
He appealed to farmers in the area not to interfere with the already constructed canals for the irrigation since everything is being done by the agency in order to ensure the facility’s full operation as scheduled for them to be able to realize good produce and steady supply of agricultural products for the local markets. By Dexter A. See