Koreans to help ease irrigation woes in Iloilo

By Jezza Nepomoceno


ILOILO – To alleviate hunger exacerbated by the dry spell, Korea Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA)-Philippines will help provide solution to the irrigation problem of farmers in a remote rural village here.

KOPIA, a center tasked by the government of South Korea to help developing countries cope with hunger caused by poverty through dissemination of latest farming technologies, has started the construction and installation of a water pump in Barangay Siniba-an, Dingle town.

The project, which is estimated to cost over half a million pesos, will provide irrigation to 50 hectares of farm land not reached by the services of National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has been invited to witness the inauguration of the project on May 17, 2016 following the courtesy visit of KOPIA Philippines Center Director Jeong Taek Lee and Coordinator Jeong Ho Lee in his office recently.

The two were accompanied and introduced by Provincial Agriculturist Ildefonso Toledo, Crops Division Chief Officer-in-Charge Winnie Grabato and Dingle Municipal Agriculturist Marfe Quinlat.

The water pump will get its water source from Jalaur River and it will be managed and maintained by Siniba-an Farmer’s Association and Barangay Council of Siniba-an.

KOPIA-Philippines Director Jeong-Taek Lee envisions freeing the village from the cycle of poverty by introducing Saemaul Undong, a classic rural development program anchored on the guiding principles of self-help, diligence and cooperation, to the family of farmer-beneficiaries.

The implementation of Saemaul Undong took place in three successive phases or stages in 1970s. It aims to resolve the economic disparity between urban and rural areas by focusing on (1) basic infrastructure, (2) development and (3) dissemination.

Upgrading of agricultural production infrastructure and the use of high-yielding hybrid rice varieties were provided and practiced during the first stage.

In 2014, KOPIA-Philippines provided Siniba-an Farmers Cooperative with 50 sacks of PSB Rc14 and NSIC Rc214 at P1,000 per sack in installment basis after the seeds were successfully reproduced in 2.5 hectares of demonstration farm of Western Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center in Brgy. Hamungaya, Jaro, Iloilo City.

According to Toledo and Grabato, KOPIA-Philippines, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Philippine Rice Research Institute, will again introduce their high-value rice varieties to increase farmers’ yield and income. The rice seeds from Korea will undergo varietal trial in Dingle later this year.

KOPIA-Philippines is established in September 2012 through a Memorandum of Agreement between Rural Development Administration of South Korea and Department of Agriculture of Philippines.

The center is said to be a symbol of South Korea’s support and gratitude to the Philippines for sharing its farming technologies and for developing the rice seeds that helped the country alleviate hunger and malnutrition in 1970s.

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