Japan Embassy Minister Makoto Iyori has turned over the recently completed Sta. Barbara River Irrigation project to local government officials in Iloilo.
The event was formalized in simple rites handing the National Irrigation Sector Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (NISRIP) in Iloilo, witnessed by National Irrigation Administrator Ricardo Visaya and by Yo Ebisawa, Senior Representative at the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Before the official turnover, Minister Iyori also joined the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Sta. Barbara dam as well as the Lacagbun Irrigators Association Office in Jaro, Iloilo City.
In his speech, Minister Iyori said the upgraded irrigation infrastructure would not only boost farmers’ income from increased production, but also help stabilize inflation, and eventually improve the economy in the Western Visayas region.
The NISRIP targets to rehabilitate 11 irrigation systems nationwide. The restored Sta. Barbara dam and canals will deliver crucial irrigation deficiencies to 2,289 hectares in the towns of Sta. Barbara, Pavia, Leganes and Jaro.
These will be supplemented with three warehouses equipped with solar driers. These interventions are vital enablers to increase farm yield and productivity, accelerate farm income and deliver growth in the agricultural community, not only in these towns but to the overall economy in Iloilo province.