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By Prince Golez

The P202-million newly rehabilitated Malatgao River Irrigation System project is seen to benefit 1,585 farmers of towns of Aborlan and Narra in Palawan, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.

Nograles led the inauguration and turnover ceremonies of the irrigation project in Narra town Monday.

“This important project aims to increase palay yield in the area, which is considered the ‘rice granary’ of Palawan. We intend to strengthen the irrigation operation and management systems through improved facilities and focused assistance to the local Irrigators Association. Our ultimate aim is to produce a steady supply of rice and improve the livelihood of our farmers,” he said.

Nograles said the Japan International Cooperation Agency provided the funding which was used for the rehabilitation of the diversion dam, main canal, laterals, drainage canal structures, drainage structures, on-farm structures, and the construction of service roads and offices of the Irrigators Association.

The improved post-harvest facilities and 12 new offices of the Irrigators Association would lessen the risk of spoilage, according to him.

The secretary likewise assured the government is “working hard” to uplift the agriculture sector and to improve the lives of farmers by providing a comprehensive range of assistance covering pre-planting up to post-harvest.

Palawan was one of the worst-hit provinces when typhoon “Yolanda” struck in 2013, having suffered massive destructions of farm properties and agriculture support infrastructure.

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