NIA top official visits irrigation of Benguet vegetable farms

Irrigators’ association members of Timoy CIS in Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet are happy with the support of Gen. Ricardo Visaya (Ret.),  NIA’s top official, during his visit to their irrigation system and vegetable farms on June 16.

La Trinidad, Benguet—Gen.  Ricardo Visaya (Ret.), the top official of the National Irrigation Administration, seemed to be in long-term friendship with Remegio Capdos, president of the Kebeng Bagan Irrigators Association Inc., when they met for the first time at the Timoy Communal Irrigation System (CIS) on June 16.

The open and direct conversation style of the administrator facilitated the easy dialogue with the farmers led by the quick-witted Capdos who proudly showed the visitors their irrigation system and vegetable farms at Longlong in Barangay Puguis.

Irrigation systems in the rolling and mountainous topography of Benguet and other provinces of the Cordilleras are unique from the usual canals and dams of the flatland and rice areas of the country visited by the administrator. Vegetable farms such as those in Timoy CIS are irrigated through high density polyethylene pipes (HDPE), reservoir tanks and sprinklers.

Timoy CIS was constructed by NIA-CAR under the Balikatan Sagip Patubig Program for CY 2015 with counterparts from the Local Government Unit of La Trinidad and the Irrigators’ Association. The project which was completed in 2016 involved the construction of nine reservoir tanks, installation of pump and its accessories as well as pipelines. It currently irrigates ten hectares of high-value crops such as lettuce, strawberries, beans and other vegetables, and benefits 26 farmers.

According to Capdos, the farmers of Timoy CIS now have sufficient and dependable water supply to irrigate their farms especially during summer months when they used to have shortage of water due to the absence of reservoir tanks to for water storage. He said farmers can cultivate their farms for up to four times a year depending on the crops planted and availability of irrigation water.

To further improve and sustain production, the Administrator committed the allocation of five million pesos for Timoy CIS in the budget of the ensuing years to the delight of the farmers. This will be earmarked for the request of the farmers for protection works along water source and the establishment of additional pumps for the additional area to be irrigated. He instructed Engr. Godofredo Velaque, provincial coordinator for Benguet, to conduct validation and facilitate resistivity testing and prepare program of works for Timoy CIS.

Earlier, the administrator also conducted dialogue with the employees of NIA-CAR in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet where he listened to the concerns of the employees and shared his four-point agenda.

Photo Caption: Irrigators’ association members of Timoy CIS in Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet are happy with the support of Gen. Ricardo Visaya (Ret.),  NIA’s top official, during his visit to their irrigation system and vegetable farms on June 16.