LUMBAN FARMERS GET SOLAR-OPERATED IRRIGATION
A solar irrigation project put up by the Department of Agriculture. (Grabbed from DA promotional video)
DAVAO CITY – Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol will lead the turnover and commissioning of the agency's 7th solar irrigation project on February 19.
The new solar irrigation project will benefit farmers in Barangay Wawa Ibayo in Lumban, Laguna and will provide water to some 50 hectares of rice lands. However, the area of coverage can be expanded and could benefit more rice fields, he said.
Piñol said the project was put up at a cost of P5.7 million and was constructed by Heal the World Corp.
“(It) is one of 169 units of Solar Powered Irrigation Systems, which are being built or have been completed since the launching of the new irrigation innovation by President Rody Duterte in March 2017,” he added.
Piñol said the Wawa Ibayo farmers' group will be tasked with operating and maintaining the facility.
Expected to witness the commissioning and turnover were Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez, the mayors of Laguna and at least 800 farmers.
Last week, Piñol also turned over a similar project to farmers in Barangay Caridad Sur in Llanera, Nueva Ecija.
The SPIS, which had also been put up in Caraga region and in North Cotabato in central Mindanao, is the flagship irrigation program introduced by Piñol as part of his 10-point priority agenda in uplifting the state of rice farming in the country. It is not only cheaper compared to traditional irrigation systems but can also be quickly put up.
Piñol has asked for more funds for the project, saying it can increase rice production.
He said at least 6,200 units of SPIS, costing around P44 billion, can irrigate 500,000 hectares.
“This means that by irrigating 500,000 hectares, the country’s annual rice production could increase by four million metric tons of palay, or 2.6 million MT of milled rice,” Piñol earlier said. (PNA)