Small Water Impounding Established in Mabini, Bohol

Created on Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Lamak Irrigators Association in barangay San Jose, Mabini, Bohol is one of the three pilot areas in Region 7 that benefited the said project. A P14.4M worth of irrigation dam made in 2009 has been serving 30 hectares of rice fields owned by 36 members of the association.

Successful agriculture is dependent upon farmers having sufficient access to water. However, the competition of water resources is much more intense nowadays. Many farms are dependent on rain feed and therefore experience water scarcity during dry seasons.

The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) of the Department of Agriculture has implemented the Small Water Impounding Project (SWIP) to solve the irrigation problem in many agricultural lands in the Philippines.

SWIP is managed by a farmer association called Small Water Impounding System Association (SWISA), which utilizes a land area of not more than 50 hectares. In Region 7, this project is implemented closely with the DA-7.

A concrete water canal constructed in the middle of the rice fields distributes water to all the farms. Members pay 100 kilos of grains per hectare directly to the association for the maintenance of the dam and other expenses, regardless of their water consumption.

Nida Lluvido, the federated president of SWISA for Region 7 and the president of Lamak Irrigators Association attested the increase of their yield since the creation of Lamak dam. According to her, before the existence of the impounding project, the one sack of in-breed seeds she used in her ¾ hectare rice field produced over 20 sacks of rice. Lately, harvest of 64 sacks of rice was produced out of only five kilos of hybrid seeds because of the availability of water.

The assistance of DA does not end in providing irrigation to the farmers. Capability building activities have been done to help strengthen the association and develop their knowledge in effective farming.

Recently, personnel from the Rice Program of DA-7 conducted a training workshop for the members of Lamak Irrigators Association. Cropping calendar, inter cropping, water management, proper water distribution and gender roles were some of the topics discussed.

Aside from the training, farmers who are interested in intercropping also received watermelon and muskmelon seeds. Other special projects of DA granted to the association were a hand tractor, multi-purpose drying pavement and multi-purpose rice mill.

At present, there are 8,413 SWISA in the whole Philippines. Of this number 313 are in Region 7, of which 43 are in Bohol. (RAFIS/Flor Orozco)