The Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), as mandated by Executive Order No. 116, is a staff agency under the Department of Agriculture. As such, it shall:
- Advise and render assistance on matters relative to the utilization of soils and water as vital agricultural resources.
- Undertake the design, preparation and implementation of Small Scale Irrigation Projects with the Local Government Units and Regional Field Units of the Department of Agriculture.
- Formulate measures and guidelines for effective soil, land and water resources utilization.
- Soil conservation in croplands and other agricultural areas.
- Undertake soil and water resources research programs.
- Coordinate with the relevant government agencies in resettlement areas.
- Prepare necessary plans for the provision of technical assistance in solving soil related problems, prevention of soil erosion, fertility preservation and other related matters.
- Engage in rainmaking projects for agricultural and watershed areas to address the problems of prolonged droughts and minimize their effects to standing agricultural crops.
- For each own sector, recommend plans, programs, policies, rules and regulations to the Secretary and provide technical assistance in the implementation of the same.
Under the new AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES MODERNIZATION ACT or AFMA (Republic Act 8435), the Department of Agriculture through the BSWM is mandated to identify Strategic Agriculture and Fisheries Development Zones (SAFDZ), within the Network of Protected Areas of Agricultural and Agro-Industrial Development (NPAAAD) in consultation with concerned agencies.
The BSWM is primarily tasked to undertake the mapping of NPAAAD for all municipalities and cities at appropriate scale. The identification of SAFDZ provide the basis for a focused strategy for the foundation of research and technology development, positioning the infrastructure, credit and other support structures. Each of these efforts is focused to support the full development of agricultural conditions, crops, livestock and fisheries that have the competitive and comparative advantage for the region.
The BSWM is likewise mandated to coordinate the implementation of Small Scale Irrigation Projects which have been proven effective to mitigate the impacts of El Nino event in the country.
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