Technical experts from the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) are in Ilocos Norte for a province-wide land use assessment to assist local governments and farmers in enhancing agricultural productivity through digital innovation.
“This is another innovation that Ilocos Norte can boast to other provinces across the country,” BSWM Director Gina P. Nilo said during the ceremonial signing of a memorandum agreement on land use assessment for potential agri-industrial with environment development and investment project on Thursday.
The project is expected to come up with at least 11 detailed maps identifying the prime agricultural lands of the province that should never be converted for industrial use, pedo-ecological zone, land management unit, vegetation cover, slope, soil erosion, flooding, soil fertility and fertilizer guide, land suitability for major crops or commodities, protected areas for agricultural and agro-industrial development, strategic agriculture and fisheries development zones and agri-industrial development and investment zones.
For 18 months, BSWM staff will conduct soil and water sampling activities and will interview farmers in the 21 towns and two cities of Ilocos Norte, and the data that will be collected will be used as the basis for the production of detailed scale maps to maintain soil productivity and farm profitability.
The said data are eyed to also boost the rural economy, enhance the global competitiveness of local produce, and improve the quality of soil and water.
The project is in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture in the Ilocos Region to ensure harmonized data and delivery of appropriate government interventions to boost the agriculture sector.
Nilo said pre-field activities started last October and at least 10 municipalities were already completed.
During the same event, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc said he was grateful and excited for the results of the project.
“This is still a long way to go but we look forward to the results,” he said, admitting that it has always been a frustration on his part as governor to look for accurate information on agriculture to determine the right crop to be planted at the right place and time. (Leilanie Adriano)
(Source: Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte)