‘Nueva Ecija rice production to drop 30%’
Trucks along Dagupan in Tondo, Manila deliver sacks of rice to warehouses on April 10, 2023.

MANILA, Philippines — Palay production in Nueva Ecija, the rice granary of the country, will drop by 30 percent if the super diversion canal in the province will not be repaired, according to a group of irrigators.

National Confederation of Irrigators Association treasurer and board of trustees member Dante Lazatin said around P1.5 billion is needed to fund the restoration of the super diversion canal in Nueva Ecija.

“We will have a problem, especially with the impending El Niño if the super diversion canal is not fixed,” Lazatin said.

He said 17,000 hectares of rice fields would have no access to irrigation with limited supply of water from the canal.

“The super diversion canal can provide 60 cubic meters per second of water, but we can only supply a maximum of 43 cms because of its damage,” Lazatin said.

He appealed to President Marcos to act on requests for the government to provide funds for the repair of the water channel.

Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. president Danilo Fausto said palay production would drop by 315,000 metric tons if the 17,000 hectares of rice fields in Nueva Ecija will have no access to irrigation.

Date: 18-May-2023