ADDITIONAL areas that can be utilized for food production with the needed water supply can now be identified with the crafting of a National Irrigation Map (NIM).
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that an inter-agency committee led by the DA crafted the map yesterday during a meeting attended by representatives from the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Soils and Water Management.
Piñol explained that the NIM will initially identify the first 500,000 hectares where the 6,200 units of Solar-Powered Irrigation System (SPIS) proposed by an Israeli agro-industrial company will be established.
He added that the NIM will also include the plotting of an additional area of about two million hectares identified by the DA Regional Offices as “undulating and slightly sloping” areas which could be used for rice farming with available irrigation water.
According to Piñol, the total rice farming area of the country now is about 3.9-million hectares but only 1.2 million hectares are effectively served by irrigation facilities and could plant twice a year.