Tinian farmer completes federal assistance program
- Press release
(U.S. Department of Agriculture- Natural Resources Conservation Service) — Gabriel Evangelista is a Minority-Owned and Limited Resource Landowner in the Northern Mariana Island of Tinian. He is the first farmer in Tinian to install an irrigation system with innovative emitters through financial assistance under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program or EQIP.
Evangelista worked with NRCS employees in the Northern Mariana Islands to follow the nine step planning process. Alternatives were developed and evaluated before the plan was designed, and installed according to the required NRCS practice standards and specifications. This is the first irrigation system installed in Tinian through EQIP. It uses innovative emitters for root zone watering. The plan also includes windbreak design using commercially viable species that produce a crop of their own, maximizing productive use of the land.
Along with NRCS, Evangelista is working with Northern Mariana College-Cooperative Research Education and Extension Service.
The conservation practices being used on his orchard include contour cropping, conservation cover, windbreak, pest management, nutrient management, and irrigation water management.
By utilizing these NRCS practices, Gabriel is improving irrigation efficiency for water conservation, reducing water demands due to evaporation, reducing soil erosion, and reducing the demand for chemical fertilizers.
Gabriel grows betel nut, da’ok, and citrus for commercial production. His irrigation system was designed by Pam Aguon, soil conservationist of the Saipan field office.