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CISC starts new JICA-funded project in Northern Samar

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A 16-month project entitled “Special Assistance for Project Sustainability (SAPS) for the Help for Catubig Agricultural Advancement Project (HCAAP)” in Northern Samar started its implementation on June 23, 2017 with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with Director Blanquita R. Pantoja of the Community Innovations Studies Center (CISC) of CPAf as the project’s team leader.

The SAPS-HCAAP aims to increase the productivity of rice in the HCAAP target areas through the adoption of appropriate farming technologies. It intends to analyze the socio-economic profile of irrigation project beneficiaries, determine reasons for rice farmers’ non-adoption of modern technologies, show farmers that rice production and income will increase from the adoption of appropriate rice farming technologies, and cascade new technologies to other farming households in the area.

The SAPS-HCAAP is a multidisciplinary research-cum-extension program wherein CPAf collaborates with the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS) of UPLB and with the College of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Natural Resources (CAFNR) of the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) in Northern Samar.

The project has three major components, namely: 1) Socio-Economic/Agrarian Land Reform, which is led by Dir. Pantoja; 2) Rice Farming Technology and Demonstration Farm, led by Mr. Danilo Lalican of  CAFS; and 3) Assistance to Provincial Government of Northern Samar (PGNS) and Other Multi-Stakeholders, led by Dr. Jaime F. Sanico of UEP-CAFNR. Associate Professor Rolando T. Bello, Ms. Francisca O. Tan, Ms. Mena E. Umali, and Ms. Florita P. Rañeses of CPAf; and Mr. Rene Limonesero of CAFS are also members of the study team. 

The SAPS-HCAAP is an off-shoot of HCAAP funded by JICA, which was conducted from January 23, 2002 to January 31, 2013 in 71 barangays in the Municipalities of Catubig and Las Navas in Northern Samar. It had four components: irrigation and drainage, rural infrastructure including potable rural water system, agricultural support services, and schistosomiasis control and prevention. After the termination of the loan agreement amounting to PhP 5.21 billion between the Government of the Philippines (GOP) and JICA, the GOP provided funds to the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to complete the irrigation sub-projects.  After four years, the construction of irrigation system is still on-going. 

The project team presented the Draft Inception Report on July 3, 2017 at the JICA Office in Makati City to the representatives of JICA’s Makati and Tokyo Offices through a teleconference. The same report was also presented to NIA during the HCAAP Multi-Stakeholders Meeting held at the Provincial Capitol, Northern Samar last July 10, 2017 with Governor Jose Ong, Jr.  presiding over the meeting. Series of focus group discussions (FGDs) and key informant interviews (KIIs) were conducted among different agencies that were  involved in the implementation of  the former HCAAP. Secondary data were also gathered and reviewed. FGDs and KIIs were also done by the Socio-economic/Agrarian Land Reform Team to validate the list of members of the 12 Irrigator Associations and gather insights from them. (by Francisca O. Tan)

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