FARMERS in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) may now rent water pumps to irrigate their rice paddies.

Seventy pump and engine sets were recently given by Department of Agriculture (DA)-CAR through the Rice Program Coordinating Office for use of farmers not currently serviced by the National Irrigation Administration.

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DA-CAR last week delivered 15 units to Abra and Apayao, 17 units to Kalinga, 13 units to Ifugao while five sets each will be delivered to Mt. Province and Benguet this week.

The DA-CAR agriculture information division recently reported that the project serves as an irrigation facility "lending assistance" to help induce water supply particularly rice farmers.

The project seeks to be designated within the rain fed rice fields or in the tail-end of service areas of communal irrigation system with abundant source of water such as underground rivers, creeks, springs, ponds or canals.

Farmers who obtained pump and engine sets were qualified as follows: farmers group of five who are actually tilling a contiguous rice area of at least five hectares and are included in the rice farmer's master list of the town.

Beneficiaries before being leased the equipment should be willing to provide a counterpart in installing steel pipes or PVC pipes to construct dug-out wells or open sources of water.

Beneficiaries of the project must also be willing to return, deliver and maintain the unit in good condition to the Municipal Agriculturist Office after five months of use.

The municipal agriculture officer will act as safe keeper of the pumps and engine sets which are retrieved from the farmers until the next beneficiary is identified.

A group of five farmers could file their request and proposals with the provincial agriculturist to obtain the pumps with an endorsement from the Municipal Agriculturist indicating the farmer-proponents are actual rice farmers in the town.

The validation of the site and the farmer-proponents will be conducted by the Rice Program Coordinating Office, Regional Agricultural Engineering Division and the Provincial Agriculturist Office.

They will submit the list of the qualified farmer-beneficiaries for approval of DA-CAR Director Danilo Daguio.

DA-CAR said the provincial agriculture office and the LGUs are tasked, as their partner agencies, to regularly monitor the operations of the pump and engine sets, and submit reports to the agency of their compliance. (JM Agreda)