JICA to pilot Iloilo irrigation system on future ICT assistance

LOILO CITY, Dec 1 (PNA) - The river irrigation system (RIS) of Sta. Barbara, Iloilo was identified by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as pilot area for Western Visayas on its survey for future assistance on Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
The JICA survey team headed by its co-team leader Tatsuya Ieizumi is currently in Iloilo where they met with concerned agencies, particularly the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) in line with the project implementation, according to Sunshine Jamero, information officer of NIA.
He is joined by Hitohiro Sakurai, ICT Expert and Hideaki Hiruta, Agriculture Extension Expert.
Ieizumi said they are gathering data on how to utilize ICT to improve irrigation water management and extend agriculture extension services. Through the survey, they can conceptualize a project where JICA will extend support.
On the other hand, Isidro R. Digal, local consultant on irrigation water management for JICA, said that Sta. Barbara RIS was chosen because there is a big potential area for improvement in the system.
There is also a proposed project for Sta. Barbara RIS under the National Irrigation Systems Rehabilitation and Improvement Project and the JICA is considering the application of ICT as a combination project for NISRIP.
“The ICT component may accelerate the approval for NISRIP,” Hiruta said.
The federation of irrigators’ associations of Aganan-Sta. Barbara RIS has previously received assistance from JICA to improve its post harvest facilities. It now boasts operating one of the largest post-harvest facilities in the nation.
JICA is hoping to finish the survey by March next year and if considered, the ICT project will be implemented in 2014. (PNA)


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