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Tan Yan Kee Foundation, DA sign irrigation project agreement

MANILA, Philippines — Tan Yan Kee Foundation Inc. (TYKFI) and the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (DW-BSWM) formally signed a Memorandum of Agreement on Oct. 20.

This marks the beginning of a decade-long partnership that promises to bring positive change to local farming communities across the nation.

This agreement solidifies the steadfast commitment of both organizations in addressing one of the most pressing challenges facing the nation – food security – by the construction and rehabilitation of small-scale irrigation projects (SSIPs) annually.

These projects serve as vital lifelines to grassroots agricultural communities by providing the essential water resources necessary for food production.

The reliable flow of water through these SSIPs alleviates the long-standing challenges of water scarcity and inefficient irrigation practices faced by countless local farmers, ultimately resulting in increased crop yields and an improved standard of living among farmers and their families. These projects have also opened up opportunities for fish harvesting and aquatic production, adding to the benefits enjoyed by local communities.

Gina Nilo, director of DA-BSWM, highlights the impact of these projects, explaining that “one small irrigation system can support a minimum of 15 to a maximum of 100 hectares (of rice lands), and of course if water is available, definitely there will be an increase in yield.”

In March this year, the Foundation marked yet another milestone with the successful completion of the Manaol Diversion Dam Project which benefits 300 hectares of rice fields in Pozorrubio, Pangasinan. With an estimated crop value of P60 million this year, it has enriched the lives of over a hundred local farmers and bolstered regional food security.

The same project also doubles as a road network, providing essential accessibility for local residents.

Since 2005, the kindness of Dr. Lucio Tan, through TYKFI, has funded 13 SSIPs, supporting farmlands that collectively encompass approximately 1,625 hectares. These projects contribute an estimated P325 million in crop value annually.