By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) last week unveiled the P104.294-million newly-rehabilitated Mal River Irrigation System in Davao del Sur.
The inauguration was led by Assistant Secretary John Roby Otero of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, JICA Chief Representative Yoshio Wada, and NIA Deputy Administrator for Administrative and Finance Sector Romeo Gan.
The NIA aims to enable the irrigation system to provide timely and reliable irrigation service to 2,635 hectares of agricultural land in the municipalities of Matanao, Kiblawan, and Hagonoy in Davao del Sur, which will benefit 3,720 farmers and their families.
It is a JICA-funded project under the National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (NISRIP), which has 11 projects located nationwide.
“The rehabilitation of Mal RIS will translate into efficient operation and maintenance eventually, optimization of the benefits derived from this irrigation system,” Gan said.
The project includes the construction of six units of irrigators’ association (IA) offices, three units of combined IA offices and warehouse, 16.1 kilometers of concrete canal lining, construction and repair of 20 structures, five new steel gates, and 15.7 kilometers of grading and graveling, among others.