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ZamboSur holds first provincial Irrigators’ Association summit

PAGADIAN CITY, Oct. 19 (PIA) – In a significant step to strengthen agricultural productivity and food sufficiency in the province, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA)-9 spearheads its first provincial Irrigators’ Association (IA) summit on October 17 in Pagadian City in partnership with the provincial government of Zamboanga del Sur and various partner agencies.

Around 190 participants from the different Irrigators Associations in the province, local government units and partner agencies actively engaged in meaningful discussions and exchange of insights during the one-day summit.

Anchored on the theme, “Pakikipag-ugnayan ng mga ahensya at lokal na pamahalaan ating pagtibayin, buhay ng mga magsasaka ating paunlarin”, the summit aims to further strengthen the collaborative efforts among government agencies towards strengthening IAs as one of the contributing factor in attaining sustainable agriculture.

The summit commenced with a message from Engr. June Nathaniel Plaza, the regional manager of NIA-9 who expressed his utmost thanks to farmer-irrigators being in the forefront in agriculture, highlighting its essential role in the province’s food security and economic stability.

“Ang inyong walay puas nga dedikasyon sa pagtikad sa yuta ug pag-uma wala lamang nagbutang ug pagkaon sa among lamesa kundili nakabutang usab ug pundasyon alang sa kauswagan sa atong probinsya. Kanunay kaming mapasalamaton sa inyong kakugi aron mapalambo atong agrikultura,” he said.

(Your tireless dedication to cultivating the land and farming not only provided food on our table but also laid a foundation for the development of our province. We are always grateful for your hard work to improve our agriculture.)

NIA-9 presented the proposed projects for 2024 including the proposed acquisition and distribution of solar pumps to increase rice production.

Various government agencies were also present in the activity, each with a distinct role in supporting the agricultural sector in the province. Representatives from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA)-9 shared significant insights about the agency’s programs and services once the IAs decided to organize and register into a cooperative.

Meanwhile, Governor Victor J. Yu who personally graced the activity reaffirmed his commitment that the provincial government is always ready to extend help with the needs of the IAs. He further reassures NIA that the provincial government can lend equipment in terms of repair and maintenance of some irrigation infrastructure.

“As per letter request ni Regional Manager nga anytime mugamit cya ug equipment sa province, ready atong probinsya nga magpahulos sa NIA,” he said.

(As per letter request of the Regional Manager, anytime if they want to use the equipment of the province, we are ready to lend our equipment to NIA.)

Another highlight of the summit was the ‘Kadiwaan sa NIA: Tabo-an’ where various local products from the IAs were displayed on sale such as fresh fruits and vegetables, locally produced coffee, tea, and other processed goods. This initiative of NIA allowed farmers to market their products and earn higher income by eliminating intermediaries while allowing consumers to buy agricultural products at a reasonable price.

The collaboration among these agencies opens doors to essential resources, technical assistance, and possible funding opportunities for programs and projects that can significantly boost agricultural productivity. The linkage fostered during the summit will serve as a driving force for growth and development in the agricultural sector thereby alleviating the lives of the farmer-irrigators in Zamboanga del Sur. (RVC/SBM/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

About the Author

Sheena Mae Mendoza

Information Officer I

Region 9

Sheena Mae B. Mendoza is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at Central Mindanao University. She is currently pursuing her post-graduate studies in Public Administration. She is an environmental advocate who loves to connect with nature.

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