P9 B for Irrigation Systems Sought
The Estrada administration wants a P9.1-billion irrigation budget for next year to open vast areas of idle and underutilized farmlands to yearround farming and boost rural incomes, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said yesterday.
The P9.1-billion proposed irrigation budget for 2001 makes up 46 percent of the P19.3 billion in fresh investments or capital outlay that the DA wants to invest in new agricultural projects, Agriculture Secretary Edgardo J. Angara said.
The DA's total budget proposed for next year is P23.4 billion, with P19.3 billion as capital outlay and the balance of P4.08 billion as regular appropriation.
Angara said the big fund for irrigation will support the big-ticket projects for the national irrigation systems that are within the jurisdiction of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA).
The emphasis, however, will be on small-scale and communal irrigation systems, which are being administered by local irrigators associations.
Angara also wants an intensified research and development work on new irrigation technologies there are "easy to maintain and are cost efficient. …