NorthCot converts 1,000 hectare land to ricefield

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/14 June) — To secure food sufficiency in North Cotabato, the provincial government is set to convert a thousand hectares of agricultural lands in Pikit town into a ricefield.

Cotabato Gov. Jesus Sacdalan conducted an ocular inspection of the area in Pikit town this week.

Together with Sacdalan were Pikit municipal Mayor Sumulong Sultan, Administrator Carlos Salazar of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and Director Silvino Tejada of the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Soils and Water Management.

The NIA has been working on a portion of the Maridagao River Irrigation System canal in Barangay Gocotan in Pikit.

The construction of the irrigation canal, according to NIA officials, is already 90 percent complete.

The project is undertaken jointly by the provincial government of North Cotabato, NIA, and Pikit LGU.

NIA project engineers said the system test run is set on June 18.

“The project being undertaken would open up additional rice production areas in support of the food security program of the national government,” said Sacdalan.

While work on the irrigation canal is continuing, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in coordination with the Municipal Agricultural Office of Pikit has started organizing the farmers in preparation for the full operation of the irrigation system.

Acting Provincial Agricultural Officer Engr. Eliseo Mangliwan said farmers from the four service barangays of Gocotan, Tinutulan, Balabac and Nabundas have already formed an irrigation association.

Mangliwan also said that five farm tractors of the provincial government started land preparation work in the area on Thursday.

Other assistance provided for the farmers include 1,000 bags of certified rice seeds from the Department of Agricultural and fertilizers.

“More than our contribution to food security, the project will further strengthens peace efforts in this part of the country,” said Sacdalan. (MindaNews)

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