Irrigation system to benefit Aetas in Zambales

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By Nikka Garriga

BOTOLAN, ZAMBALES–An irrigation system will be installed in the town of Villar  to help indigenous communities who rely mostly on planting root crops as their source of livelihood.

It features a ram pump and water reservoir which will irrigate some 200 hectares of ancestral land where produce such as taro, sweet potato, squash, and banana are cultivated.

The initiative is part of the several agricultural projects under the Department of Agriculture (DA) involving equipment and input for the benefit of the Aetas, farmers, rural folk and local government units in Zambales.

The bulk of the P60 million allotment will also be used to construct and repair eight communal or pump irrigation projects.

A community seed bank and a crab hatchery will also be established in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to provide the communities with additional livelihood in case typhoons and other calamities damage their crops.

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