The Irrigators Associations (IAs) of National Irrigation Administration-Magat River Integrated Irrigation System (NIA-MARIIS) has been an awardee of the prestigious National Rice Achiever’s Award Search for Outstanding Irrigators Association for the last three consecutive years due to the collective assistance of its linkage agencies. And for the year 2016, the Villa Fuerte IA of NIA-MARIIS Division II, San Mateo, Isabela was once again pronounced as one of the winners of the said award. The IA has been active in promulgating agricultural growth and advancement since 1991.

One of the major criteria for this competition is the strength of the association’s linkages with other agencies and private entities and its impact to its members and in the locality. For the final stage of the competition, a validation of the association’s documents was conducted by the NIA Central Office.

Some of the activities of the association are: a). Canal Maintenance/Repair, b). National Congressional Meetings/RPWs, c). Technological Demonstration, and d). Livelihood Program/Women Involvement. In addition, they are planning to expand their income generating project, acquire more innovative farm machineries, and venture in entrepreneurship. As for the impact of the association to its members, Ms. Ma. Nieves Bernal, member of Villa Fuerte IA, gave her testimony on how her family’s life improved in terms of socio-economic status and how the association assisted them to gain agricultural knowledge, skills, and expertise. As to her closing statement, she stated that “Kayang-kaya ng Villa Fuerte IA to assume responsibility”, having high hopes that the association would achieve the prestigious award.

DOST Region 02 vouched for the strong tie-up of the association with the agency and certified that the association is an active partner in the implementation of the agency’s agricultural activities. Under the Carrageenan Project of DOST, the association was one of the beneficiaries of the Carrageenan Plant Food Supplement (CPFS) which aims to increase the yield of rice by 20-30%. Other linkage agencies namely Department of Agriculture/OPA, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Landbank of the Philippines, National Food Authority, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, Agricultural Training Institute, and the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist also showed their support to the association for this momentous event. Dr. Crispina R. Agcaoili, Municipal Mayor of San Mateo, Isabela and Engr. Wilfredo C. Gloria, Department Manager A of NIA MARIIS graced the event with their warm messages to the association.


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