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President Slashes Irrigation Fees in Agusan Del Norte by more than half
BUTUAN CITY---- In a move to alleviate poverty and ensure food security in Agusan del Norte, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Tuesday ordered the Department of Agriculture (DA) to slash by more than half the irrigation fees it is collecting from subsistence farmers in the province.

Under the President’s directive, the DA would now collect only five sacks of palay, down from the previous 12 sacks per hectare every harvest time from subsistence farmers who avail themselves of irrigation water from the Agusan del Norte Irrigation Project.

Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos said the President informed him of the good news during the private lunch hosted by the Butuan Diocese in celebration of the Diocese’s Ruby Jubilee held at the Father Saturnino Urios University Gym here.

"Farmers have been complaining of the costly irrigation fees. Despite their good harvest, very little was left for their families," the Bishop said.

Bishop De Dios said he brought the farmers’ woes to the attention of the President "who immediately responded favorably" to the request.

Farmers from the province’s 11 municipalities draw their irrigation water from the P2.056 billion Bit-os and Aupagan Lower Agusan Development Project-Irrigation Component in Butuan City.

One of the country’s leading rice producers, Agusan del Norte’s economy is predominantly agriculture-based.

The 11 towns of the province are Buenavista, Cabadbaran, Carmen, Jabonga, Kitcharao, Las Nieves, Magallanes, Nasipit, Romualdez, Santiago, and Tubay.
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