The Department of Agriculture said today that in preparation for the summer months, the National Rice Program (NRP) is complementing the National Irrigation Administration in the development of Small Scale Irrigation Programs through the Department’s regional field offices.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said this is also part of the DA’s efforts to achieve a climate change resilient agriculture sector.

He added, the Bureau of Soils and Water Management is also deeply involved in the provision of small-scale irrigation systems (SWIS).

The survey, design, construction, rehabilitation and improvement of SWIS, diversion dams and spring  development system is among the NRPs interventions, he added.

Construction/ installation of shallow tube wells and pump irrigation open source is also part of the NRP’s involvement.

According to the Secretary, the NRP also helps in the construction, rehabilitation and improvement of  irrigation canals and small farm reservoirs.

Earlier Alcala again called on the public, especially the farmers, to continue conserving water despite announcements from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that there is little chance of El Niño occurring in the next few months.

The Secretary said that though scientists say there is a little chance of El Niño happening in the coming months, it is still best to be prepared.

“It is wise for farmers to still conserve water for them to be ready for any occurrence.  We all know how unpredictable weather can be,” he added.

El Niño, the irregular rise in the temperature of the Pacific Ocean is accompanied by below average rainfall.

According to the Secretary, if there is already stored water in our irrigation systems, this will have a positive effect because photosynthesis will be in full gear, resulting to a good harvest.

He added, the country’s small-scale irrigation systems and facilities have been improved to make it more resilient to the disastrous effects of harsh weather and other calamities.  Irrigation canals have also been concreted to avoid seepage and other possible defects. (DA-OSEC)