In line with the first Ilocos Norte Water Summit last year, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, aided by the provincial office of Millennium Development Goals and the Ilocos Norte Water District, held the Agricultural Resiliency Forum last March 17 at the Provincial Capitol in Laoag City.
To complement the Nov. 27, 2014 water summit’s long-term water management plan, the recent forum tackled immediate solutions to the threat of water drought called El Niño, a perennial problem of the local farmers in the province.
MDG head Edwin Cariño said the forum was participated in by some 150 farmers from the different municipalities of Ilocos Norte.
“Sabi ng PAGASA, mild na El Niño daw, ang nararamdaman ko naman ngayon parang extreme El Niño kasi sa totoo lang, bitak-bitak na ang lupa sa mga maraming lugar natin katulad sa Pinili, Piddig at Batac,” Gov. Imee R. Marcos said during the forum.
Report said Pinili was hit by drought since January affecting their garlic and other vegetable crops. In Pasuquin, their irrigation system was dry because of water scarcity.
“Limang drums ng krudo ang konsumo namin sa patubig ng pagsasaka,” said Lemuel Sagayan, a farmer from Vintar.
During the forum, Dr. Nathaniel Alibuyog, vice president for research and extension of Mariano Marcos State University, discussed the Alternate Wet and Dry method for ideal farming.
Engr. Noel D. Ganotisi, senior science research specialist of Philippine Rice Research Institute in Batac City, said “produce more rice by using AWD method as it reduces the use of water by as much as 15-35%.”
On the other hand, Engr. John Teodoro, General Manager of Ilocos Norte Water District, said so far they had promoted AWD method, produced water tubes and used faulty polyvinyl chloride in their piping system as well as practiced ‘reuse, reduce, recycle’.
Teodoro said water tube sample will be distributed to the farmers so they may replicate it by using other materials, aside from PVC, like bamboo poles.
“Kaya dapat tulong-tulong tayo, maasahan niyo po ang tulong ng provincial government pero kailangan natin na gumawa ng plano,” Gov. Marcos told the farmers as the forum ended.–(J Michael Mugas, PGIN-CMO)