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Ecija farmers beat COVID, post highest palay yield

CABANATUAN CITY – Despite the ill-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was still a golden harvest for Novo Ecijano farmers as one of them posted the highest yield so far for this year’s dry season cropping at 206.15 cavans per hectare.

The National Irrigation Administration-Upper Pampanga River Integrated Irrigation Systems office under department manager Engr. Rose B. Bote said that “palay harvest has never been better” in the province even during the pandemic.

Bote talked about farmer Jonathan Padua from the North Guimba Farmers-Irrigators Association, who harvester a total of 804 cavans of the Longpin 937 hybrid rice variety for an average yield of 206.15 cavans per hectare from his 3.9-hectare farm in Bgy. San Andres, Guimba, Nueva Ecija.

Padua expressed his gratitude to NIA-UPRIIS for despite the threat of COVID-19, the operations team under the helm of Interim Division 6 head Engr. Jose Ariel G. Domingo, was still able to properly manage the distribution of irrigation water within the service area of the division in Guimba.

Salamat sa UPRIIS, kay Engr. Rose Bote, kahit ngayong may pandemiya ay nandiyan kayong mga taga-NIA na tumutulong sa aming mga magsasaka. Sa Division VI sa pangunguna ni manager Jose Ariel Domingo, sa aming SWRFT na si Alvin Beltran na siyang kasama namin sa pag-regulate ng tubig kasama ang aming IA, sa pamamahala ni Pangulong Ruben Bautista, maraming salamat po sa inyo,” said Padua.

Engr. Jose Ariel G. Domingo, Interim Division 6 manager said three other local farmers attained above-normal yields during this dry season harvest.

One of the three top farmers is Ruben L. Bautista, Padua’s neighbor and president of the North Guimba Irrigators’ Association. Bautista got a yield of 182 cavans by also using the Longpin 937 hybrid rice variety for his one-hectare farm.

Domingo said two other farmers also posted “above-normal palay yields” compared to the previous the dry cropping harvest. He identified the duo as Jomar Martillano, a member of ANAMCU-FIA (Anao-Tarlac, Nampicuan and Cuyapo towns) and Francisco Esguerra, 58, of Bgy. Cinense, Talugtog.

Martillano had a harvest of 142 cavans of the Rc 222 rice variety while Esguerra produced 130 cavans using the SL-8H rice variety in his one-hectare farm.

Martillano and Esguerra thanked Bote and Domingo for their support in monitoring and regulating the distribution of irrigation water in their areas which helped them attain their goals to obtain a bountiful harvest despite the pandemic.