The Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) 2 spearheaded the conduct of a grand field day of a “Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) project on Water Management of Rice-based Cropping System in Lucban Small Water Impounding Irrigation System” in Benito Soliven, Isabela on 16 April 2019.
The project, which aimed to increase productivity of rice by introducing cropping patterns and improving the existing water management system, showcased various technologies during the field day.
In the CPAR model farms, three interventions were established to improve water management based on Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD). This served as water saving technology for the introduced cropping patterns, hybrid rice – hybrid rice – mungbean for the upstream part of the CPAR site, and hybrid rice – watermelon in the tail end.
With reports from the project team and farmers on AWD, fertilizer management, crop diversification, as well as product development and marketing, the CPAR project showed success in its implementation. In fact, prior to CPAR, farmers in Brgy. Lucban average a monthly income of around Php 900 for inbred rice, with high cost of production. When CPAR was introduced, their income increased to more than Php10,000 monthly.
Joseph Justo, a CPAR farmer-cooperator, mentioned how grateful he is for the evident change not only in his life but in his co-farmers’ lives because of the intervention of CPAR. Justo presented his experience in the CPAR program and how his living conditions improved. “Dati, isang beses lang kami mag-ani sa isang taon. Ngayon, nakakadalawang harvest na kami sa bigas, tapos mayroon pa kaming ibang tanim na pinagkukunan din ng kita namin. Nagkaroon na rin kami ng kaalaman kung paano namin magagamit ng maayos ang patubig, hindi na kami nahihirapan sa tubig. Salamat sa CPAR talaga,” he shared.
Among the highlights of the program included the turnover of the CPAR project to the LGU of Benito Soliven as part of the sustainability measures of CPAR. Hon. Robert Lungan, municipal mayor of Benito Soliven has full support in the CPAR project, appreciative of how CPAR turned the lives of the farmers around in Benito Soliven. “We will make sure CPAR flourishes at magdadagdag pa tayo ng mas maraming magsasakang makikinabang dito,” Mayor Lungan mentioned.
Representatives from DA-RFO 2, local government units, Agricultural Credit Policy Council, Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service, Regional Agriculture and Fishery Council, also presented their own respective programs that will benefit the farmers, such as product enhancement and market linkage assistance programs, and loan and calamity programs.
With results of the project showing a 50-97 percent increase in production and income, CPAR continues to be an effective means of community transformation. ### (Daryl Lou A. Battad/DA-BAR)