Pinoy Rice Farmers Forced to Stop Planting Due to Less Water from Angat Dam

As Bulacan and Pampanga provinces are affected due to being dependent on Angat Dam, over 250,000 rice farmers will grow vegetables instead to cope with the drought brought by the plunging water level, according to Inquirer.

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Photo Credit: Aaron May / Flickr

(ALSO READ: Water Shortage will continue as rain fails to fill Angat Dam, Manila’s main water source)

As the officer in charge of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) water control coordinating unit in Bulacan, Felix Robles mentioned once the planting season starts, the NIA will release water stored at the Ipo and Bustos dams also in Bulacan.

“Once we get enough rain we will be able to irrigate the whole area. If the water elevation at Angat Dam rises, it can support us,” he said.

“This month, 30 cms had been good enough with the help of rainfall and farmers’ cooperation. For now, around 40 percent of the fields are undergoing land-soaking preparations because of rain,” he said.

According to Ildefonso Canquin, president of a local farmers’ group, the amount is insufficient for 200,000 and more farmers in 17 towns in Bulacan and five towns in Pampanga.

And compared to producing rice, they will gain a lower profit from growing vegetables.

“Vegetables need only wet soil, unlike palay which needs soil that has been soaked in 3 inches of water,” he said.

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