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NIA eyes lending to typhoon-hit farmers pumps for irrigation

The National Irrigation Administration (NIA) is set to provide farmers with centrifugal pumps for their irrigation system in anticipation of a possible food shortage due to agriculture damage left by Typhoon Karding, its executive said Wednesday.

"As of the situation, mukhang maaapektuhan na naman po ang ating food security dahil sa nangyaring bagyong ito. Ang gagawin po ng NIA is we will support farmers with centrifugal pumps, ito po 'yung mga nilalagyan pa rin ng diesel as a temporary remedy dito sa magiging problema natin sa summer time, dahil alam naman po natin na maraming nasirang mga pananim ngayon," NIA Administrator Benny Antiporda said at a public briefing.

(It seems that the country's food security will be affected by the typhoon. NIA will be supporting farmers with centrifugal pumps, or pumps being operated by diesel as a temporary remedy ahead of our drawbacks in the summer time following the current damage to agriculture.)

"We badly need it now," Antiporda added, saying that centrifugal pumps were cheaper and could benefit a lot of irrigable lands.

Likewise, he said that one centrifugal pump, which cost from around P100,000 to P120,000, could irrigate about three to five hectares of land.

"Ito pong water pump na centrifugal, ito po ay hindi ibibigay, ito po ay ipapahiram lang dahil emergency. Pagkatapos ipahiram kukunin po uli ito, ililipat po ito sa ibang lugar habang wala pa 'yung solar [water pump]. Kapag andiyan na ang solar tatanggalin po iyan," he pointed out.

(The centrifugal water pumps would only be lent, not given, in view of the emergency caused by Karding. The units will be taken back and transferred to areas in need of the machines, until the solar water pumps arrive.)

Damage and losses in agriculture caused by Typhoon Karding (international name: Noru) have increased to P160.1 million, based on the latest available data from the Department of Agriculture (DA).

The latest estimates released by DA’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center (DRRM) covered 16,659 hectares of agricultural areas in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and the Bicol Region.

This translates to a volume of production loss of 7,457 metric tons (MT) of commodities such as rice, corn, high value crops, and fisheries affecting 3,780 farmers and fisherfolk. —LBG, GMA News