Irrigation boosts cotton production in Ilocos Norte village
CITY OF LAOAG – Cotton producers in a rural village of Lumbaan, Pinili, Ilocos Norte on Thursday welcomed the inauguration and renewal of the Lumbaan-Bicbica irrigation development project of the National Irrigation Administration ( NIA).
Lerwin Pidot, President of Grupo ti Zanjera Lumbaan Bicbica Irrigators Association Inc., said they were fortunate to be the primary beneficiary of projects worth over PHP 18 million that will revitalize cotton production in the region. community.
According to the NIA, the project covers an area of 25 hectares directly benefiting about twenty beneficiary farmers. Completed on October 11, 2021, the project aims to increase the productivity of farmers by giving them more options to plant alternative crops like cotton other than usual rice and other cash crops.
Now that a stable supply of water is available in Lumbaan village, Mayor Rommel Labasan said more farmers would be inspired to plant cotton in the area.
To date, the city’s cotton producers have an existing agreement with the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) to support the production of Abel (woven fabric) products.
The village of Lumbaan is known to produce insect resistant cotton varieties in order to conserve the raw materials needed for Inabel’s weaving.
In addition to providing cotton seeds, fertilizers and pesticides to farmers, members of the Lumbaan Weavers and Cotton Producers Cooperative are also trained by PhilFIDA to process seed cotton, obtain lint and transform it into thread.
Starting with a two hectare cotton farm with five farmer-cooperators in 2016, cotton cultivation in Lumbaan grew to 16 hectares in 2017 with 18 farmers. But due to lack of water, some farmers reduced their cotton fields to 10 hectares in 2018.
In December 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte’s de facto wife Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña visited Magdalena Gamayo from the town of Pinili, a national treasure living for her excellence in textile weaving, which paved the way to the NIA Irrigation Project Grant for Cotton Producers. have access to water.
On Thursday, NIA officials handed the project over to beneficiary farmers, urging them to help maintain and maximize its use to reduce poverty at the local level. (ANP)