CAgrO expands rainwater catchment for upland farmers

CAgrO expands rainwater catchment for upland farmers
Davao City Agriculturist Office

THERE are approximately 300 rainwater catchment basins in the Paquibato and Marilog Districts to support farmers with their irrigation systems, according to a representative from the City Agriculturist Office (CAgrO).

Engr. Gilbert Iglesias, officer-in-charge of CAgrO's Agrifishery Projects division, highlighted during the ISpeak media forum on Thursday morning, June 27, 2024, at the City Mayor's Office, that their focus remains on constructing catch basins in the city's uplands to aid local farmers.

“During El Niño gamit pod kaayo ang atoang, rainwater catchment kasi didtoa ang source sa water for our irrigation (During El Niño, rainwater catchment is very useful because it serves as a water source for our irrigation),” he said.  

Engr. Karen Joy Delos Reyes of CAgrO added that these catchment basins have proven beneficial, particularly during peak El Niño seasons. She noted that all 60 units of their water pumps and 72 units of water sprayers were utilized by farmers, who borrowed them to access water from the catchments.

CAgrO plans to construct around 120 catchment basins in 2024, having already completed approximately 38 as of May. These basins are strategically located in upland areas to capture rainwater that would otherwise flow to lowlands, benefiting local agriculture.

Each catchment basin measures 10 by 15 meters and is two meters deep, capable of holding 200 to 300 cubic meters of water. 

Delos Reyes said farmers only need to provide the site and install a fence around the basin to prevent accidents. Requests for basins can be made through barangays, requiring a Deed of Usufruct if necessary. Processing takes one to two months, with excavation typically completed in a day.

Delays in basin construction are attributed to accessibility issues for excavators or inclement weather, which makes sites slippery.

Beyond irrigation, some farmers use these basins for fish farming, selling fingerlings for income and personal consumption.

Catchment basins have been established in Paquibato District's Barangays Paradise, Colosas, and Mabuhay, and in Marilog District's Tamugan, Suawan, Bantol, and Malamba. 

Once CAgrO fulfills basin needs in these districts, they plan to expand to other areas requiring similar infrastructure. RGP

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